Feeding the need

Across the United States, families were stressing about their health and safety during the pandemic but under the surface other issues were silently lurking.

The pandemic changed food access for many households throughout our three-state region, particularly families of color who are disproportionately affected. With high unemployment, loss of income, volunteers not able to serve food banks and closures of schools, food insecurity became a considerable issue.

According to Feeding America, 42 million people experienced food insecurity in 2021, with 3.6 million of those individuals being residents of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

Between food distributions in parking lots to employee volunteer efforts, in 2021 we worked collaboratively with our partners and customers to find ways to get healthy food into the hands of those who needed it most, while still abiding by COVID-19 safety protocols.

82

families received support from our food drive in Okemos

22

Delta Dental employees volunteered during the food drive in okemos

Forgotten Harvest food delivery truck sponsored by Delta Dental.

1,300,000

dollars have been donated to Forgotten Harvest since 2015

“While our in-person volunteering slowed due to the pandemic, our enthusiasm and commitment to corporate citizenship have not waivered,” said Carmen Argersinger, manager of strategic partnerships at Delta Dental. “Our employees answered the call and were eager to again support their neighbors and provide them with healthy meals.”

In 2021, Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana’s overall food assistance support nearly was nearly $210,000.

Among the highlights was our funding of a 24-foot box truck, a $150,000 investment into Forgotten Harvest which works to reduce food waste in Michigan’s Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

“This truck is another asset in the toolbox,” said Kirk Mayes, Forgotten Harvest CEO. “It will be on the road 10-12 hours a day for the next 8-10 years and used in all operations, including grocery store rescue and food delivery. Being able to pick up and distribute more food is critical right now.”

Farmington Hills employees volunteering at a Forgotten Harvest's mobile food pantry.