FedUp Ministries is a food truck service throughout Southeast Michigan designed to fight food insecurity by providing low-cost services and free nutritional-value meals to communities located in food deserts.
Rev. Anna Taylor-McCants, co-founder of FedUp Ministries, states that all of FedUp’s foods are good, healthy, food-truck-style cuisine served with dignity.
“We use elevated ingredients and try to avoid anything with chemicals in it,” Taylor-McCants said.
FedUp Ministries was created in June 2021, in partnership with Zion Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor.
Fed-Up Ministries offer free meals Wednesdays from 12-1 p.m. at Ann Arbor’s West Park, 215 Chapin St., and from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Ypsilanti Transit Center, 220 Pearl St. Additionally, FedUp offers pop-up appearances that can be scheduled on their website.
“Our idea was to serve one free meal a week, and we would grow as our organization grew,” Taylor-McCants said. “Less than a year later, we now serve three free meals a week around Washtenaw county.”
Taylor-McCants says one of the keys to FedUp’s success is the company’s numerous partnerships throughout Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor.
Partnerships include Growing Hope, Peace House, Ypsi, Pilar’s Tamales/Pilar’s Foundation, Pullover Prevention, The Holy Health Giving Garden, Zion’s Faith and Food Garden, Washtenaw County Daytime Warming Center, We The People Opportunity Farm and Willow Run Acres.
“There’s joy in what we do, the connections, meeting people, being able to help someone, and being able to push them to a partner that you work with, that’s a really great moment,” Taylor-McCants said. “Networking is a gratifying part of this experience when we can find someone just to add to our network of partner organizations.”
According to Taylor-McCants, FedUp’s goal is advocating for systematic change around Washtenaw county, recently working alongside Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge and his effort to create health equality throughout Washtenaw county.
“Justin Hodge is one of the greatest leaders that I’ve come to know in the Washtenaw area. The Financial Empowerment Center that they’re pushing forward in our county, is something that’s really needed,” Taylor-McCants said. “I’m interested to see kind of where this goes, it’s organizing, There’s a lot of listening and being present.”
Hodge passed a resolution for health equality on July 1, 2020. Recently, Hodge created an opportunity index tool to identify different metrics across the Washtenaw area, such as health outcomes, educational attainment, job access, and overall opportunities across the Washtenaw community.
Taylor-McCants believes working with Hodge will allow FedUp to assist in providing opportunities to those living in impoverished communities.
“Currently I’m part of this team that is looking at Washtenaw county’s funding and how to influence the county budget,” Taylor-McCants said “We’re talking about community land trust and looking at some of what Detroit is doing for their communities.”
Regarding their future, FedUp is working on developing two projects, a “pay-if-you-can” cafe, and a mobile shower and laundry facility.
Help is always welcome by volunteers. However, Taylor-McCants admits that she dreams of assistance from one particular Detroit emcee, Eminem.
“I believe Eminem would be the perfect person to help us fund our “pay if you can” cafe in Ann Arbor. “ Said Taylor-McCants. “We’re hoping that will be funded by early spring. There’s a “Pay if you can” cafe in Ypsi, but we need one closer to the homeless shelter in Ann Arbor.”
Regarding the mobile shower and laundry campaign, Taylor-McCants states these facilities will travel to homeless camps or densely populated areas that lack laundry capabilities. Fundraising for both campaigns will begin soon.
More information regarding FedUp Ministries, such as upcoming schedules, fundraising campaigns, and contact information, can be found on their website.
Taylor-McCants said,“Come volunteer with us anytime. Come for a meal or just come hang out with us. I think we’re pretty fun people.”