ANN ARBOR, MI – During the first distribution, the Ann Arbor YMCA gave away its entire supply of produce.
The nonprofit is handing out free produce boxes to people in need during the coronavirus pandemic. The weekly distributions began from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday June 4, at 1500 S. Huron Road in Ypsilanti Township, the future site of the East Washtenaw County YMCA branch.
The effort is in participation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box program, which aims to distribute agricultural products to people in need, according to a news release. Ann Arbor YMCA also hopes to work with nearby nonprofits to help distribute the produce.
Ann Arbor YMCA CEO Toni Kayumi said Steve Petty, the YMCA’s vice president of healthy living and responsibility, never expected to give away 150 produce boxes in about an hour. She said they more boxes are being requested from the USDA for the next distribution.
“Sharing with our nonprofit (partners), there’s a potential we could go through about 500 boxes a week,” Kayumi said.
Distributions are scheduled for every Thursday until the program finishes, which is set for the end of June, but could be continued after that by the USDA, Kayumi said. The produce boxes are available for anyone to pick up.
“As a nonprofit social service organization in the community, we feel it’s our responsibility to help people when