Nominee’s nameGerry Brisson

SEEN Changemaker CategoryNonprofits

A picture of the nomineeA picture of the nominee
Nominee’s job titlePresident & CEO
Nominee’s cityDetroit
Please describe why the nominee is a SEEN Changemaker:

Gerry Brisson has served as President and CEO of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan since 2014 and has been a tireless advocate the community's most vulnerable for much longer. He has dedicated his professional life to solving hunger. Gerry has ushered in an era of innovation and growth at Gleaners, which was recognized in 2019 as Feeding America’s Food Bank of The Year, reflecting the bold vision he set for the food bank’s future and changing the conversation about solving hunger.

Tell us about the individual’s accomplishments:

Under Gerry's leadership, Gleaners was among the first food banks in the U.S. to establish programs to address the link between food insecurity and health. The organization fights hunger in the six-county region of Southeastern Michigan, with 5 distribution centers and 528 partner agencies.

He has formed partnerships with health care institutions, education leaders and corporations, leading to an understanding of the benefits of realizing food security for patients, students, customers, and employees. Since Gerry to the helm at Gleaners, the nonprofit has doubled the number of pounds it distributes ever year.

He has lead Gleaners to be among the top 10% nationally of food banks in all fundraising categories measure by Feeding America Magazine. He has personally accounted for more than $150 million dollars in new dollars to provide food and programs to sustain Gleaners' high levels of financial support.

As co-host of a talk radio show on hunger issues, he champions the need for food security and what we as a region can do to achieve it.

Recognitions for both Gerry and Gleaners highlight the level of innovation, forethought, value and support they have offered to the community.

How is he/she impacting the community or the lives of people in Metro Detroit or across the world.

In 2018, Gleaners distributed 43 million pounds of food, including 18 million pounds of fresh produce. The organization increased its distribution of milk from zero gallons to 158,000 gallons last year. Of the 650,000 food insecure individuals in Southeast Michigan, Gleaners reaches 430,000 of them, and 40% of that reach is children. In just food alone, the economic benefit to the community is estimated at $161.5 million. From providing food to children and families through schools to providing food to patients after hospital discharge in its partnership with Henry Ford Hospital, Gerry's leadership at Gleaners is feeding families, making people healthier and maintaining the dignity of thousands across the region.


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