The Marquette Rotaract Club at Northern Michigan University will host a Feeding America West Michigan mobile food pantry from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18. About 15,000 pounds of food will be distributed to people in need at the Salvation Army in Marquette. That is enough to feed about 400 families.
The mobile pantry contains fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, baked goods and non-perishables intended for anyone in need from the surrounding area. Clients will not have to show identification or proof of income to receive food, but they are asked to affirm that they are in need of food and to bring their own boxes, bags or laundry baskets.
According to Feeding America West Michigan, Marquette County has the greatest mismatch between the need for food and the amount of food currently being provided. While Feeding America West Michigan runs a monthly mobile food pantry in Ishpeming, it does not have an established mobile food pantry host in Marquette. The NMU Rotaract group arranged for the event to happen with financial support from the three Marquette Rotary clubs. Representatives of each, along with the related Interact Club at Marquette Senior High School, will volunteer at the event.
“I lived near Grand Rapids and Feeding America West Michigan operated mobile pantries around there,” said Haley Knight, president of the Marquette Rotaract Club at NMU. “I remember the individuals and families lined up outside the truck and saw the impact that the food distribution had on the community. So we decided to contact them about coming to Marquette. This county has a lot of people who aren’t necessarily eating well and an event like this can make a big difference.”
The food distribution will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Any leftover items will be donated to the Salvation Army of Marquette.
Feeding America West Michigan has served families in need since 1981. It reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The 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. An estimated 492,000 people receive food from the organization each year.