Comstock Park, Mich. — April 12, 2017 — This spring, Feeding America West Michigan learned it had been selected for a $27,000 grant from Presbyterian Women, the national women’s organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).
Feeding America West Michigan will use these funds to implement an innovative program known as FeedEUP, which aims to bring needed food to families living within the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District. (Download the Press Release)
Feeding America West Michigan has been working with partners in the Eastern Upper Peninsula to gain support for the program. One such partner is Alice Halsey, moderator of the Pickford Presbyterian Women and advocate for hunger relief in the region.
“The fact that approximately one-half of the school children qualify for reduced or free school meals is a strong indicator of the extensive need,” Halsey said. “We believe that [FeedEUP] can go a long way to help prevent childhood hunger and the poor academic performance which so often can accompany this.”
Feeding America West Michigan will use the funding to bring Mobile Food Pantries — trucks loaded with fresh produce, dairy products and baked goods — to four schools in Chippewa, Mackinac and Luce Counties each month during the 2017-18 school year. School administration and staff will be working with Feeding America West Michigan to coordinate the distributions and promote nutrition to student families and others in need.
Feeding America West Michigan estimates that 2,446 people are food insecure in these rural communities, meaning they often struggle to obtain enough food for a healthy and active life. Each Mobile Pantry distribution will be open to anyone in need in the community.
Although, the grant from Presbyterian Women is a milestone in addressing child food insecurity in the Upper Peninsula, the FeedEUP project needs additional support, both in terms of funding and in the development of new programming. Those who would like to support the initiative can designate their donations through FeedWM.org by indicating “FeedEUP” in the additional instructions field.
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. That food is distributed through a network of more than 1,000 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.