13 Mobile Food Pantries Headed to Upper Peninsula in June

Garden Area Catholic Churches hosted a Mobile Pantry in May and will do so again in June. Credit: Feeding America West Michigan

Garden Area Catholic Churches hosted a Mobile Pantry in May and will do so again in June. Credit: Feeding America West Michigan

Comstock Park, Michigan — May 25, 2016 — This June, Feeding America West Michigan plans to send 13 Mobile Food Pantries to communities across the Upper Peninsula. The distributions will provide 202,500 pounds of food, or 170,000 meals, to people in need. (Download the Press Release)

That’s a 47 percent increase from May and more than double the amount distributed via Mobile Pantry in June 2015. The increase is part of Feeding America West Michigan’s new hunger-relief strategy in the Upper Peninsula.

“We’re not going anywhere,” said CEO Ken Estelle. “As long as there’s a need for food, we’ll be right here doing our best to meet it.”

“Our goal is for everyone in the Upper Peninsula to have access to good, healthy food at all times.”

In addition to its Mobile Pantry distributions, Feeding America West Michigan hopes to provide as much as 200,000 pounds of food to local partner agencies across the Upper Peninsula in June.

Feeding America West Michigan’s Mobile Pantries are intended for people with difficulty accessing enough food for themselves or their families. While no proof of income is required at the distributions, clients will be asked to sign a statement affirming that they are in need.

If you would like to fund a Mobile Pantry in your community, call programs manager Ryan VanMaldegen at 616-389-6360.

Mobile Pantry Dates for June 2016

June 2
VFW Post #4573, 310 Bank Street, Ishpeming, 10 a.m.
Salvation Army Thrift Store, 220 Osborn Blvd., Sault Ste. Marie, 11 a.m.

June 4
Trinity UMC, 808 Carpenter, Iron Mountain, 8 a.m.

June 8
Luce County Community Center, 103 W Helen Street, Newberry, 2 p.m.

June 9
Schoolcraft County Fairgrounds, North Lake Street, Manistique, 10 a.m.

June 10
Garden Area Catholic Churches, 6411 State Street, Garden, 10 a.m.

June 15
St. Ignace UMC, 615 W US 2, St. Ignace, 11 a.m.

June 16
Abundant Life Mission Center, 1406 10th Ave, Menominee, 10 a.m.

June 17
UP State Fairgrounds, 2401 12th Ave North, Escanaba, 10:30 a.m.

June 22
Chatham, location TBD, 10 a.m.

June 23
Community Center, N14911 Hannahville B-1 Rd, Hannahville Indian Community, 10 a.m.

June 29
Webster Elementary, 1213 North 19th Street, Escanaba, 1:30 p.m.

June 30
Salvation Army Thrift Store, 220 Osborn Blvd., Sault Ste. Marie, 10 a.m.

Note: All times EST.

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About Feeding America West Michigan. Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We distribute that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs, and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan. For more information, visit FeedWM.org.

Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Might Be Easier Than You Thought

Apple Tree and Sky

The importance of good nutrition to a child’s development is indisputable. But kids can be picky eaters, and they don’t always like to eat their fruits and vegetables.

For example, schools have long struggled to get their students to eat apples. Far too many of them end up in the trash. It’s a big problem, but the solution might be simpler than you thought.

One pilot study found that serving sliced apples instead of whole apples increased apple consumption by more than 60%. Read more about the pros (and a few cons) of this new approach to school nutrition.

Stamp Out Hunger racks up 108,000 lbs of food in Grand Rapids

Feeding America West Michigan staff and volunteers unload food at the Kentwood Post Office branch Saturday. Credit: Feeding America West Michigan

Feeding America West Michigan staff and volunteers unload food at the Kentwood Post Office branch Saturday. Credit: Feeding America West Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan — May 16, 2016 — This year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive lived up to its name. On Saturday, letter carriers collected more than 108,000 pounds of food donated by Grand Rapids residents. The food was given to Feeding America West Michigan. (Download the Press Release)

That was a significant increase from last year, when the drive brought in just over 60,000 pounds of food. More donations are expected to trickle in throughout the week as carriers gather up any leftover donations along their routes.

“When it’s all said and done, we could very easily be looking at double what we took in last year,” said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle. “I don’t ever remember seeing such a big jump from one year to another.”

The increase came in spite of the day’s wild weather, with rain, snow and hail lashing carriers and food bank volunteers as they collected donations. Estelle credits the success to strong media coverage and support from Meijer, which provided paper collection bags to more than half the city.

“We got a taste of just about every season Michigan has to offer on Saturday, but that didn’t stop the carriers or our volunteers and staff from doing a great job,” Estelle said.

Feeding America West Michigan will distribute the food to people in need through its network of hunger-relief agencies in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

While Stamp Out Hunger’s national total is still being tallied, last year’s drive secured approximately 71 million pounds of food for hunger-relief organizations across the country.

Local sponsors include Fox 17, Meijer, Heart of West Michigan United Way, the Kent-Ionia Labor Council and the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Post Office Branch Results
Northwest/Walker Ave: 23,051 pounds
East Paris: 22,559 pounds
Northeast/Three Mile Road: 20,262 pounds
Wyoming: 13,428 pounds
Main/Grand River Carrier Annex: 13,387 pounds
Eastown: 8,667 pounds
Kentwood: 6,911 pounds
Total: 108,265 pounds

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About Feeding America West Michigan. Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We distribute that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs, and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan. For more information, visit FeedWM.org.

Negaunee High School to Host Mobile Food Pantry May 25

Clients receive food at a Mobile Pantry in April 2016. Credit: Feeding America West Michigan

Clients receive food at a Mobile Pantry in April 2016. Credit: Feeding America West Michigan

Negaunee, Michigan — May 12, 2016 — On Wednesday, May 25, Feeding America West Michigan will distribute 20,000 pounds of food to people in need at Negaunee High School. The distribution will take place at 4:30 p.m. (Download the Press Release)

This is the third Mobile Pantry Negaunee High School has hosted since May 2015, and Principal Mark Marana says students, teachers and coaches will once again volunteer to distribute the food.

“We’re just looking forward to the opportunity to get our students involved again and give back to our local community,” Marana said. “You feel really good at the end of the day.”

Each Mobile Pantry contains fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and baked goods. The food is intended for anyone in need in the community. Clients will not have to show identification or proof of income to receive food.

This month, Feeding America West Michigan expects to distribute 137,500 pounds of food in the Upper Peninsula through its Mobile Pantry program. That’s the equivalent of 115,000 meals. Total first-quarter food distribution in the Upper Peninsula, including distribution to local agencies, was up 53 percent over the first quarter of 2015.

Funding for this distribution has been provided by a Negaunee High School alum. Those interested in funding a future Mobile Pantry at Negaunee High School or in other communities in the Upper Peninsula can contact programs manager Ryan VanMaldegen at 616-389-6360.

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About Feeding America West Michigan. Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We distribute that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs, and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan. For more information, visit FeedWM.org.