On Tuesday, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Forgotten Harvest received donations that will go a long way to feed some of the neediest people they serve.
Baby Gourmet, natural baby food company based in Alberta, Canada, donated more than $350,000 worth of baby food to the Detroit food bank and Oak Park food rescue, totaling 177,364 meals split between the two organizations. It's the first large donation of baby food for Gleaners in five years.
Baby Gourmet founder and President Jennifer Broe said she was drawn to Detroit because of the needs of its citizens. More than half of the children in the city are living in poverty.
"My mission when I started the company is that every baby deserves access to the very best food," Broe said. "And if I'm in a position to help the less fortunate, I will."
With a business degree and a passion for cooking, Broe launched Baby Gourmet as a small operation six years ago. She began making and selling the natural, organic baby food at a farmers market when trying to find the best food for her own children.
Forgotten Harvest, which takes and distributes food that would otherwise be thrown out, is the largest rescue in the country, delivering 42 million pounds of food last year to people in need. But Broe was particularly drawn to Gleaners because of the many young children the organization serves and its focus on nutrition education through the Cooking Matters program.
"As a mother, I understand the importance of early childhood nutrition and eating good-quality food," she said.
CLARIFICATION: A representative for Baby Gourmet said they mistakenly undervalued the retail price of the baby food donation. This story has been updated to reflect the accurate retail price.