Food Gatherers Returns to “Eat and Play” Model for the Summer Food Service Program

Food Gatherers has officially begun the 2023 Summer Food Service Program. This summer program is designed to help Washtenaw County students and families who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the school year. It will run from June 20 to August 18.

This year’s Summer Food Service Program is offered in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education and with support from Toyota Research & Development and Lake Trust Credit Union Foundation.

The program is returning to the congregate “Eat and Play” model for the first time since 2019.

The Michigan Department of Education allowed Summer Food Service Program sites to provide non-congregate, “Grab-and-Go” meals for families to take home during the pandemic. The Eat and Play model means that each site will distribute a free meal to every child present, but meals must be eaten on site.

Grocery distributions with nonperishable food will also be available at select sites to help families who relied on the “Grab-and-Go” meals.

“We know this year’s program will look different for many families who appreciated the
convenience of the grab-and-go meals,” LeRonica Roberts, Food Gatherers Community
Food Programs manager, said in a press release. “This program is an important source of nutritious food for many families at risk of hunger and we will continue to ensure that every family, in every zip code, has access to healthy food for their kids in a fun, welcoming environment.”

Children 18 years of age and under or persons up to 26 years of age enrolled in an educational program recognized by a state or local public educational agency are eligible for free meals.

Food Gatherers provides meals without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Find more information at

Families can also find a list of sites by texting FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304 or by calling FoodGatherers at 734-761-2796.