Michigan residents can donate nonperishable food items at all Secretary of State offices, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said today.
Offices are participating in the 28th Annual Michigan Harvest Gathering food drive.
“On behalf of my team, I am so proud to once again pledge the full cooperation of our 131 Secretary of State offices as we take on hunger in our hometowns,” Johnson said. “And that effort starts right now. Beginning today, from shore to shore and across both peninsulas, our offices are now official giving centers for the 2018 Harvest Gathering campaign.”
Since 2011, Secretary of State offices have collected more than 30 tons of food donations, including 5 tons of food in 2017. The Secretary of State portion of the Harvest Gathering campaign, which was created in 1991 by Attorney General Bill Schuette and his wife, Cynthia, runs through Nov. 21. Financial donations should be made online at www.feedmichigan.org.
“People, especially children, cannot work and learn when they are hungry,”said Phil Knight, executive director, Food Bank Council of Michigan. “The Michigan Harvest Gathering is a way to raise awareness as we move toward a food secure state.”
In Michigan, 16 percent of households struggle to put food on the table and 21 percent of children don’t know where their next meal will come from, according to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. The organization coordinates the Harvest Gathering program, 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.
In 2017, the entire Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign collected 869,000 pounds of food and more than $329,000.
Nonperishable food items with a valid expiration date can be dropped off at any Secretary of State office. Food items especially needed include canned meats, dry beans, soups, beef stew, pasta products, peanut butter and tuna. Other items include baby food or formula, diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The Food Bank requests donors avoid items in glass, as they often break in transit.
“Sixteen percent of Michigan households struggle to put food on the table,” said Schuette. “That number is too high. We will continue the Michigan Harvest Gathering until there are no Michigan residents struggling to feed their families.”
Michigan residents interested in donating can find food collection sites at every Michigan Secretary of State branch, as well as at state office buildings throughout Michigan until November 21.
To kick off this years giving campaign, Consumers Energy donated $15,000 and Michigan Health & Hospital Association donated $30,000. The $45,000 from their combined donations will go towards putting food on the tables of many Michigan families.