Fresh Food Distribution

Everyone deserves access to fresh produce, meat and dairy products.

Fresh food is a critical part of getting the nutrients needed to thrive.

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Our programs help bring free food to our communities in need.

South Michigan Food Bank leverages a network of volunteers, partner organizations and local resources to bring a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and dairy to the people in our communities who need it most.

Programs like FRESH (Food. Recipes. Education. Social. Health.) and the Fresh Food Distribution pairs free food with nutrition education, recipe sharing, taste testing and more.

Most of our food comes from local food companies. We also purchase much of our food, or get it through the USDA and national food donors.

See a list of our Fresh Food sites.

How We Get Our Food


Much of our food comes from reclaiming, repackaging and redistributing local food that would otherwise go to waste.

We partner with Kellogg Company to keep cereal from going to waste and give it to those in need.

Through our affiliation with Feeding America, we capture donations of food from large corporations, like national supermarket chains and large food manufacturers.

Locally, we are supported by food manufacturers, grocery stores, farmers, and community food drives.

Purchased Food

South Michigan Food Bank also purchases staple items because of their high demand and inability to predict when donations will come in.

Canned fruits and vegetables, protein items like peanut butter, tuna fish, dry beans, and other items like pasta and sauce, mac n’ cheese, instant potatoes, soup, shelf-stable milk, complete dinners and baking mix are a few examples of what we keep stocked.

We also purchase frozen meat items like ground beef and hot dogs.

In addition, we purchase food from area farms through the Farm to Food Bank program.

Local farmers are contracted to grow specific crops for distribution during our Fresh Food Initiative. This program supports local farms and the local economy, while getting Michigan-grown produce to those who need it most.


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allocates money for food banks across the nation to spend on truckloads of food throughout the year.

These loads include items like frozen meat, canned fruit and vegetables, tomato products, shelf-stable milk, rice, rolled oats, dried beans, peanut butter and other items.

To maximize buying power, we partner with  other Michigan food banks and pool our resources.

Throughout the year, the USDA provides additional loads of surplus products for distribution. The program is coordinated through the Food Bank Council of Michigan.