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Gov. Rick Snyder: Flint families will have better access to nutritious food through partnership with Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Flint families will have better access to nutritious food that can limit the effects of lead exposure through a new mobile food pantry, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan of Flint is partnering with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide 12 truckloads of food in February and March, with the first distribution scheduled for today. More than 100 truckloads of healthy food will be delivered to Flint neighborhoods throughout the year.

“We are focused on helping the people of Flint and know that foods rich in calcium, vitamin C and iron help address the effects of lead exposure,” Snyder said. “We encourage Flint families to take advantage of this program, one of many steps we are taking as part of the city’s recovery.”

The food bank has a mobile food pantry program, but new efforts will focus specifically on providing the types of foods that mitigate lead exposure. This program is being paid for as part of Snyder’s $28 million supplemental budget request signed in late January.  

An average of 400 families will receive food with each distribution. Each family will receive nutritional food such as tuna, baked beans, potatoes, cereal and fresh apples, peppers and tomatoes.

“I think this is a wonderful example of neighbor helping neighbor to provide healthy food to families to mitigate the impact of lead,” said William Kerr, president of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. “It involves the community, the Food Bank, local churches and the state all working together.”

Food distributions remain open while supplies last. Upcoming food distribution dates are:

  • Noon- Today, Wednesday, Feb. 24, Prince of Peace, 1417 Stevenson St.
  • 1 p.m. - Today, Wednesday, Feb. 24, Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.
  • Noon- Friday Feb. 26, My Brother’s Keeper, 101 N. Grand Traverse Blvd.
  • Noon- Tuesday, March 1, Church Without Walls, 6202 Dupont St.
  • Noon- March 2, Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 Ballenger Highway

“We appreciate the spirit of partnership from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and the support from the Legislature and the governor,” said Sheryl Thompson, MDHHS deputy director of Field Administration Operations, who is stationed in Flint as part of the state government response to the water emergency. “It’s critically important that Flint residents – especially children – eat nutritional food to reduce the impact that lead exposure has on their bodies.”

Information about additional food distribution dates will be announced at a later date. For more information, visit the Food Bank website at or call 810-239-4498.