Gleaners opening market-style store for those in need of food assistance

Posted at 11:39 AM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 12:52:09-04

Gleaners Community Food Bank announced Tuesday it is opening a retail-like experience to help emergency food services in metro Detroit.

It will be called "Fresh! by Gleaners" and will allow families to get free, nutritious food at times and in quantities they want to help manage household budgets.

The store will be located on 8 Mile in Warren and will provide an array of items people have said they want and need most: fresh produce, dairy and eggs.

There will be pre-order curbside pickup and refrigerated lockers, and an in-person shopping option.

Fresh! by Gleaners is an example of the power of collaboration to solve complex problems like food insecurity,” said Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners. “By seeking input from our guests, community partners and donors, and using data to inform and guide our decisions, we can improve how we walk alongside families and break down barriers in their journey to thrive.”

Gleaners said they have had five years of planning and concept testing to come up with the idea for Fresh! with guests, community leaders, agency partners and more giving their input.

“Over the past several years, Gleaners has engaged in listening sessions with nearly a dozen local partner agencies to discuss where there are gaps in service and how we can incorporate their feedback into the model to help close those gaps,” said Judith McNeeley, vice president of community engagement for Gleaners. “The feedback has been incredibly positive as a complement to the important work our partners are doing every day to nourish the community.”

“We’ve piloted the fundamentals of the Fresh! concept at three locations over the past five years, confirming its appeal,” said Julie Beamer, chief operating officer of Gleaners. “With our first-ever, new-build location, we will fully implement the retail-inspired innovations that Fresh! by Gleaners embodies. Construction for the Fresh! by Gleaners site is set to begin in early summer 2024 and targeted to open in early 2025. This location, chosen based on an assessment of residential population density and food insecurity rates, will primarily serve the needs of the surrounding Warren and Detroit community.”