September 30, 2023


Qualified food specialists

Thumb area nonprofit to deliver healthy food to kids and seniors

4 min read
Thumb area nonprofit to deliver healthy food to kids and seniors
Dan Shelton delivers a pre-made meal to Marshall Smith on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.

A Thumb-based nonprofit will soon help feed the most vulnerable populations in the region by delivering food directly to seniors and children.

The Thumb Food Policy Council  —  a nonprofit that serves St. Clair, Sanilac, Tuscola, Huron and Lapeer counties  —  recently received an $852,000 grant funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered through the Michigan Department of Education to develop food delivery strategies for the region’s most vulnerable populations.

Joe Bixler, president and CEO of the nonprofit, said the organization plans to work with community partners in each county  —  such as schools, transportation and community organizations  —  to deliver what is known as last-mile food production.

Instead of people coming to the food distributor, such as in drive-thru food giveaway, food is brought directly to the consumer. Bixler said this method of food distribution is beneficial in that it brings food to people who might otherwise find it difficult to make it to a distribution or don’t have a way to bring home large boxes of food.

Dan Shelton walks up the porch to deliver a pre-made meal to a client on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.

Bixler said the nonprofit focuses its efforts on target populations of seniors and children  —  the two populations that are most vulnerable to food insecurity.

“When we give away food at large events, we’re giving away boxes of food that weigh 25, 30 pounds,” Bixler said. “There’s not very many kids or seniors that are going to be able to carry that back to their homes.”

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