How CARES of Farmington Hills, Michigan, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Thomas Schoenfeldt CARES of Farmington Hills



Food Pantry, COVID-19, Pandemic, Michigan, Food Donations


First paragraphs:

CARES of Farmington Hills (Michigan) is a front-line food pantry that serves nine cities. CARES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Prior to the COVID-19 pan­demic, the CARES office included a large meeting area, clothing room, and the food pantry. Before the pandemic arrived, it was a client-choice, self-serve food pantry set up like a grocery store that is available to those in need in the service area. The pantry was open five days a week, and shopping was available by appointment. Each guest can visit the pantry once each month, and no guest is ever turned away. If a guest is not in our service area, they are offered an emergency bag that con­sists of enough food for a couple of days and are given a list of food pantries near them. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were serving 400 to 500 families each month.

When the pandemic struck, the client-choice pantry and other areas in the building were cleared out to allow pallets of food to be stored so they could be used in a bag-packing process. The entire distribution process changed to a drive-up system, where carts of food were unloaded into each guest’s trunk with no personal contact. We were complying with the recommendations of a variety of health organizations throughout the region and state by doing this. . . .


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Author Biography

Thomas Schoenfeldt, CARES of Farmington Hills

Volunteer Food Procurement Manager

Voices from the Grassroots logo



How to Cite

Schoenfeldt, T. (2020). How CARES of Farmington Hills, Michigan, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(1), 9–11.