On March 20th, we held our first Food Distribution Day at The Matrix Center alongside Gleaners Community Food Bank in response to the Coronavirus crisis. We weren’t sure what to expect, but that day over 300 people came to The Matrix Center while remaining in their vehicles so Gleaners volunteers could place donated food in for them while maintaining social distancing. The line of cars stretched for blocks, showing how important food needs are during this critical time.
Matrix has been providing food to Detroit’s Northeast side and surrounding areas long before COVID-19 at The Matrix Center for our Food Tuesday’s. Serving roughly a hundred families every-other Tuesday, the need for food was constant, but now, that need has grown exponentially during this crisis.
By partnering with Gleaners Community Food Bank, we have been able to meet that need, which has quickly grown from 300 families at our first Distribution Day, and quickly doubling, up to 600 families, by our 3rd distribution day, occurring every other week.
Food Distribution Days remained on schedule, every two weeks at the same time, drawing longer lines and more families each time. When we hosted our 2nd one on April 3rd, the news media came as well, including WDIV Channel 4 News and The Detroit Free Press.
On April 17th, we hosted our 3rd Food Distribution Day, Detroit Police were prepared to guide traffic this time and we were grateful to have their assistance. As word has spread and the stay-at-home order continues, it’s clear the need for food has continued to rise as well.
We were also happy to learn that other non-profits waited in line to receive food to deliver to those in need who do not have transportation. Specifically, Angela Piccirilli, a Respiratory Therapist with Kid’s Health Connections, dropped off this delivery to a family in Detroit’s East side near The Matrix Center.
“The non-profit I work for, which is called Kids’ Health Connections… we’re also trying to service our patients right now whose parents don’t have vehicles that can get to the food bank. So at least once or twice a week, we are trying to get food to the families in that area, so I had two families that lived right by, not walking distance but no vehicles, so that’s why I was there today.” Angela Salvia Piccirilli
Food Distribution Days are scheduled to continue through June, dates below.
May 1st // May 15th // May 29th // June 12th // June 26th
This moment is unprecedented but our long history in Detroit has taught us how to adapt to any challenge. We are grateful to be able to serve the community when they need us most, but we could use some help. If you would like to contribute so we can continue to serve during this crisis, please follow the link below to make a donation.