Filling plates for those in need

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    Secretary of State offices collecting food for Harvest Gathering
    Harvest Gathering event
    Lansing, Mich. — As part of a long-standing tradition of helping families in need, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that once again residents can donate nonperishable food items at local Secretary of State branch offices.

    Johnson helped kick off the 23rd annual Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign at the state Capitol alongside Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who co-founded Michigan Harvest Gathering, and Kareemah El-Amin, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

    “Even the smallest gift makes a difference, and when you multiply those donations statewide, the impact is life changing,” said Johnson. “Today this campaign stretches across all eighty-three Michigan counties, which provides an ideal opportunity for our 131 Secretary branch offices to play a major role. In fact, since 1999 our branches have served as convenient drop-off sites for Michigan citizens to bring donations. I want to challenge each of them to show their regional pride by collecting more food and funds than ever before.”

    “We are extremely grateful to have the support of Michigan’s Secretary of State offices in the Michigan Harvest Gathering,” said El-Amin. “By participating through their local Secretary of State branches, folks from all over our state can help to feed the hungry in their communities.”

    Jamie Clover-Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director; Stephen Johnson, senior director of operations for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association; and Karole White, president of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters also joined in the announcement.

    The 2013 goal is 350,000 pounds of food and $500,000. In 2012, Michigan Harvest Gathering collected more than 213,000 pounds of food and $445,000.

    The Harvest Gathering campaign runs through early November. However, donated items can be dropped off at any Secretary of State branch office through Nov. 27. People donating items should check the packages to ensure the food donated isn’t past its expiration date.

    The campaign is coordinated by the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which supplies the state’s regional food banks through donations of food and money. The regional food banks serve food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in every Michigan county.

    People are asked to donate food items such as canned meats, dry beans, soups, beef stew, pasta products, peanut butter and tuna. They can also donate baby food or formula, diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The Food Bank requests donors avoid items in glass, as they often break in transit. Financial donations may be made online at http://www.feedmichigan.org.

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