Gleaners Community Food Bank recently named Inkster-based Zaman International an official food pantry partner, a designation that will significantly bolster Zaman’s impact as a provider of crisis and basic needs assistance to women and children.
Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties and provides food to 535 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout Southeast Michigan. Zaman’s Client Choice Food Pantry, which opened shortly before Thanksgiving, distributed more than 2,000 pounds of food in its first three days as well as fresh dairy products and produce. The pantry also provides household cleaners and hygiene items.
Noting that partner agencies helped Gleaners distribute more than 34.5 million pounds of food to some 400,000 food-insecure individuals last year, Gleaners Agency Relations Manager Mollie Grierson said the partnership with Zaman will “greatly increase Gleaners’ ability to feed hungry families and individuals in the Inkster area.”
“It is our partner agencies who are our feet on the ground, working directly with community members and distributing the food that Gleaners is able to provide,” Grierson said. “Gleaners is extremely proud to add Zaman to our list of community partners and we look forward to making an even larger impact on hunger relief in the Inkster area due to this partnership.”
Located in Zaman’s Hope For Humanity Center, the Client Choice Food Pantry offers a dignified, culturally sensitive shopping experience for the organization’s clients that allows them to select food at no cost according to preference, lifestyle or religion. Clients, whose needs are assessed and addressed by Zaman’s social work staff under a comprehensive case management model, are given vouchers each month which they can use to obtain food and other items from the pantry. Under the terms of their partnership, Zaman pays Gleaners nothing for the produce, dairy and bread it distributes and just pennies on the dollar for other food items.
Zaman CEO and Founder Najah Bazzy characterized Zaman’s partnership with Gleaners as an organizational milestone made possible by the Hope For Humanity Center, which Zaman purchased in 2014 and occupied in the spring of 2016 after an initial phase of renovation.
“Zaman’s vision for breaking the cycle of poverty is based on leveraging community resources and forging partnerships that allow us to feed, clothe and train as many women as possible,” Bazzy said. “The Hope For Humanity Center has given us the requisite space to house a pantry and begin this collaboration with Gleaners for the good of our community. The Client Choice Food Pantry is one of Zaman’s most impactful undertakings and we look forward to continuing this partnership with Gleaners.”