Matchan collects hundreds of thousands of dollars during the year from local vendors. Can you imagine that almost 25,000 meals were served for a combined equivalent food cost of $6,000? That is about $0.24 a meal for food. Much credit goes to our many donors such as Gordon Food Service, Costco, Panera, Whole Foods, Farm Boy, Ellen’s Bakery & Gleaners Food Bank and to Leona Patterson, kitchen manager, who creates meals with what she “finds” in the refrigerators, freezers and the pantry.
Costco donates primarily bakery goods twice a week and produce nearly every day. Even though we are not open every day, we still pick up their produce and distribute it to other charitable organizations or low income housing facilities. It is not uncommon to get two pallets of produce and three carts of bakery goods from Costco in one day.
Gordon Food Services (GFS)
GFS donates just about everything. We get meat, ready-to-eat foods like potato salad, crackers, chips, fresh produce, eggs, dairy products, candy, peanuts and many other food products. Meat and ready-to-eat foods are golden for a kitchen. There aren’t too many donations of this kind.
You may have seen the beautifully animated ads on TV by Panera that shows the bread being made fresh every day and the bread at the end of the day being given to charities. Matchan is one of those charities. They also donate all those delicious sweets that they bake. We volunteers appreciate these as well.
Whole Foods is known for their upscale products and they are also generous donors of bakery goods. Their donations include gluten free products as well. We only pick up one day a week from them but they donate to other groups every day of the week.
Farm Boy Produce
Farm Boy is owned and operated by 4th generation farmer, Al VanHoutte. You can easily spot Al’s Farm Boy Produce markets by the colorful canopy tents found in downtown Auburn Hills, Shelby Township and Rochester Hills. In season, volunteers Bob Erdman, Michael Brenan and Fred McPharlin pickup produce almost every day. Farm Boy is known for their freshly picked corn and Matchan shares in the unsold corn each day.
Ellen’s Bakery & Café
Ellen’s Bakery & Café located in Sylvan Lake is well known for their homemade breads & pastries, custom gourmet catering, exquisite wedding cakes and more. Their donations to Matchan include some of the sweetest tasting pastries that you will find anywhere. You have to try their cheesecake.
Gleaners Community Food Bank
For more than 37 years, Gleaners Community Food Bank has been “feeding hungry people and nourishing our communities.”
Every Tuesday, Matchan shops for free food at Gleaners in Pontiac. You never know what you will find in the walk-in cooler. Various fruits and vegetables are usually available. Gleaners also sells food. If it is surplus food, we pay on the order of $0.12 / pound. This covers their cost of transporting and handling the food. Other food items are purchased in bulk by Gleaner so that charities can take advantage of their savings.