Aid in Milan Offers Unique Food Assistance Services

Presents being delivered to familes.

Serving the greater Milan area, Aid in Milan offers a lifeline to those in need through a unique focus on perishable goods, setting it apart from typical food assistance programs.

“We intend to improve our unique pantry approach, focusing on perishable goods such as meat, dairy, produce, and fresh bread, as these are the most requested food items from our clients,” executive director Michele McGovern explains.

This dedication to providing fresh and nutritious options underscores AIM’s commitment to not just feed bodies, but also to nurture health and dignity.

Overcoming challenges

The challenges of the past few years, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic, have tested and ultimately highlighted the resilience of AIM and the Milan community. The increase in demand for services led AIM to innovate, reaching out to the rural areas around Milan with little to no access to assistance. “We’re dedicated to continuing this approach for as long as we’re able,” McGovern affirms, reflecting the organization’s adaptability and unwavering commitment.

Community support

Key to AIM’s success is its network of collaborations and partnerships, which amplify its impact and reach. From the vital support of Food Gatherers to contributions from the Milan Kroger store and various state and local funders, these partnerships enable AIM to be the “hands and feet of the help they hope to provide,” as McGovern poignantly puts it.

Volunteers are the heartbeat of AIM, their dedication and spirit fueling the day-to-day operations. With a lean staff, the organization relies on a dynamic volunteer network, which not only moves operations along but also fosters a sense of community and friendship.

“The best part about our volunteer network is that they become friends… We’re always looking for volunteers and welcome anyone to reach out for more information,” McGovern invites, emphasizing the joy and camaraderie found in serving together.

A photo of garden

Annual fundraiser

One of AIM’s key fundraising initiatives is the annual Empty Bowls event, a creative and community-driven effort to combat hunger and raise crucial funds.

“We run a very tight and lean ship and appreciate every penny that comes through our door,” McGovern emphasizes, highlighting the importance of every contribution in sustaining their vital work. This event not only raises awareness about hunger but also brings the community together in solidarity, making it a cornerstone of AIM’s fundraising efforts.

Donations are also gladly accepted throughout the year.

Future plans

Looking to the future, AIM is committed to listening to and growing with the community it serves. Plans to introduce financial programming, parental coaching and physical fitness initiatives are in motion, aiming to support the mission of promoting overall healthy lives. This forward-thinking approach ensures that AIM’s services remain practical, relevant, and deeply rooted in the community’s evolving needs.

In the words of McGovern, “Milan really is a very special community… AIM is proud to be a part of the community in a way that sees firsthand the generosity of the people.” This sentiment echoes the essence of Aid in Milan — a source of hope, a hub of community support, and a testament to the power of collective action in facing challenges and fostering growth.