The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is working with its network of partners in the Thumb region to provide expanded services for people in need during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan serves 22 counties in Michigan including Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, St. Clair, and Tuscola counties.
The Food Bank and local partners have now scheduled mobile food pantries in each county and will continue to add to this schedule as resources become available. This week, the Food Bank has distributions in the area that include:
- Laker Elementary School, 6436 Pigeon Road, Pigeon – March 21, 10 a.m.
- Gateway Assembly, 2796 S Van Dyke Road, Imlay City – March 21, 11a.m.
- Anchor Cove Church, 201 E. Sanilac Road, Caro – March 21, 10 a.m.
- Revive Ministries, 6400 Main Street, Cass City – March 24, 1 p.m.
- Crossroads Community Church, 3631 King Road, East China, March 25, 11 a.m.
- Kohler Propane, 8744 Burnside Road, Brown City – March 26, 3:30 p.m.
- Croswell Wesleyan Church, 5242 N. Black River Road, Croswell – March 26, 2:30 p.m.
- Tuscola County ISD, 1385 Cleaver Road, Caro – March 28, 11 a.m.
- VFW Hall, 2942 Main Street, Marlette – March 28, 9:30 a.m.
- Gateway Assembly, 2796 S Van Dyke Road, Imlay City – March 28, 11 a.m.
- Marlette High School, 3051 Moore Street, Marlette – March 31, 11 a.m.
- Father Dunn Hall, 310 North Main Street, Yale – April 4, 10 a.m.
Kara Ross, President and CEO of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan said the, “ distributions give community members the opportunity to pick up produce, protein, and shelf-stable items.” During the outbreak, Ross promised the Food Bank is “committed to working with partners in all 22 of our counties to provide additional resources to alleviate burdens on neighbors.”
The mobile distributions have been refocused as a drive-through style. The Food Bank and partner organizations are providing bags and briefing agencies and volunteers prior to distributions to ensure compliance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing.
The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan relies on and appreciates the donated food it receives from approximately 70 retail grocery partners. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has increased overall demand for food nationally from retailers and manufacturers, so donations to food banks have declined as people purchase and stock up on food. Due to the decline in donated items, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan has to purchase significantly more food now to distribute into the communities it serves, which has made monetary donations vital. Contributions can be made online at www.FBEM.org.
The Food Bank’s Thumb Region Outreach Coordinator Heather Bearden is available to assist organizations interested in partnering with the Food Bank, individuals in need of assistance, and answer questions about the Food Bank. The Food Bank’s website has calendars with scheduled food distributions, a map to search for food pantries by zip code, and resources related to the COVID-19 outbreak.