What does this merger mean? Frequently Asked Questions
What led to this consolidation?
- For more than 20 years, there have been two food banks operating in the Greater Lansing Area. Although the two worked together in many ways, this led to confusion in the community and unnecessary duplications of efforts in a number of areas. The Boards of the two organizations, listening to community leaders, realized that combining these services could lead to a number of efficiencies in the focus to feed those in need in our community. Besides, it just made sense and the timing seemed to be right.
What is the name of the new food bank?
- The new food bank is the Greater Lansing Food Bank, the same organization that has served the people of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties for more than 30 years.
What will the benefits be of this consolidation?
- The Mid Michigan Food Bank has been the Feeding America warehouse for food in our community. The Greater Lansing Food Bank has raised funds to support the area pantry network and related agencies and kitchens by giving out more than $1 million in grants annually to pay for this food. In addition, the Greater Lansing Food Bank has provided support to the community through its Garden Project program and Food Movers (food rescue) program. As you can see, the programs of the two organizations seem to naturally fit together to complement each other. Additionally, this gives us an opportunity to reduce unnecessary duplications and focus our combined resources and efforts on the singular focus of feeding people in our communities in need.
What changes can we expect?
- We will not introduce changes just for the sake of change, but rather will be looking at what are the industry requirements and standards. Our focus will be simple: being good stewards of the resources that the people and businesses of the communities we serve has entrusted to us; feeding people in an efficient and compassionate manner; adhering to the highest ethical standards in what we do; meeting the expectations of local, state and federal standards and the standards of Feeding America.
What are the keys to success?
- The keys to success will be based on our abilities to integrate good business practices while at the same time working to maintain the dignity of those we serve. This will include being vigilant in working to lower the costs of food for our community while making certain that all those in need are served. A final, but important key to success will rest on the continued financial and volunteer support from our community. This is key to our ability to fulfill our commitment to feed those in need in our community.
How will the employees of the two organizations be affected?
- Some people will have new assignments based on the needs of the new organization. We all understand that there will be a need to explore new and better ways of doing what we do. We are speaking to our colleagues around the state and nation to learn best practices and implement those that make sense for us. Some current employees have chosen to move on to new careers or new geographies. Because of the duplications of responsibilities that were mentioned earlier, there will be a very few who will not be offered employment in the new food bank. Everyone who worked at the Mid Michigan Food Bank has been offered a severance package by the American Red Cross, owner of the MMFB.
Are there any risks?
- The greatest risk that we see is if we are not diligent in monitoring our costs of doing business and in our ability to maintain the past levels of financial and volunteer support of our community.
Is this good for our community?
- The Board leadership of both the Greater Lansing Food Bank and the American Red Cross, as well as the leadership of our community who have explored this consolidation for more than 5 years have concluded that this is not only a logical consolidation, but an essential step if we are truly going to create a model for the future to address hunger in our community. Our pledge to the people and organizations who have provided support to both of our organizations over the years, and to the people that we serve, is that we will maintain our focus on our mission of feeding those in need, and we will do this using solid business principles, in a compassionate manner. We will be accountable for the decisions we make and the outcomes. We will integrate best practices. We believe if we do all these things, and continue to receive the support of our community, the new Greater Lansing Food Bank will with question, be a very good decision for our community.
What communities will you serve?
- For more than 30 years, the Greater Lansing Food Bank has served the people of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties, and that will continue. In addition, the Mid Michigan Food Bank has provided food to people in need in these four additional counties: Shiawassee, Clare, Isabella and Gratiot. The people in need in these seven counties will be the people we serve.
- For the past 30 years we have stressed the importance of serving people on a local basis. That is still our philosophy and goal. The added 4-county geography will offer the GLFB added purchasing power with Feeding America products. At the same time, though, we will work with the agencies and pantry networks in each county to take care of people on a local basis.
Where will you be located?
- For the current time, we will be operating out of two locations, the current Greater Lansing Food Bank offices and the former Mid Michigan Food Bank warehouse.
How can I help?
- Food Banks like the Greater Lansing Food Bank are successful because of the support that they receive from the people and businesses of the community. Our continued success and our ability to continue to feed those in need is dependent on the continued support of our community through donations (of food and $$) and through volunteering which enables us to do so much more than we could otherwise.
If my family or I need food support, who should we call?
- There is a wonderful program in Greater Lansing called the Ingham County Food Bank. This is a program of the Ingham County Health Department that we partner with. If you live in the tri-county area, call 517 887 4357 to learn about food assistant programs and other support offered in this area.