Benton Harbor, Michigan — March 16, 2015 — A big slice of the Benton Harbor Fruit Market is now dedicated to hunger relief.
The family of Eau Claire farmer and produce broker Jeffery Marc Mattner donated its buildings and fixtures located at the Benton Harbor Fruit Market to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. The property includes offices, 20 market stalls and a combined 4,800 square feet of industrial cooler space. Mattner passed away in late 2012.
“The Mattners have been donating their produce to the Food Bank for years. This gift is just another way they’re supporting hunger relief in the Benton Harbor area,” said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle.
“We’re touched by their generosity.”
The organization is still considering how best to use the property, which could serve as overflow space for storing fresh produce. Fruits and vegetables now account for more than a quarter of the food Feeding America West Michigan distributes each year.
“Berrien County farmers like the Mattners are central to our work,” Estelle said. “Because they share their produce with us, we can provide food to hundreds of thousands each year.”
Last year, Feeding America West Michigan distributed a record-setting 26.5 million pounds of food to food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters from Southwest Michigan through the Upper Peninsula. The organization’s Benton Harbor branch supplies food to more than 170 hunger-relief agencies in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.
To support Feeding America West Michigan and its effort to solve hunger in our community, visit feedwm.org.