“If you extend your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.” — Attorney General Bill Schuette, quoting from Isaiah, Section 58, Verse 10, before hundreds of gatherers at the state’s 26th Annual “Harvest Gathering” at the Country Club of Lansing today (11/16).
Launched by Schuette and his wife, Cynthia Schuette, in the first year of the administration of Gov. John Engler, the anti-hunger drive has raised some $10.3 million and 10.4 million pounds of food (enough for 56 million meals). Cynthia came up with the idea when the now-A.G. was director of the state Dept. of Agriculture.
This year’s effort brought in $308,000 and 403,000 pounds of edibles. The bounty will be distributed by the Food Bank Council of Michigan to an array of food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in all of Michigan’s 83 counties.
Singled out for “Beacon of Light” awards were Sheryl Thompson of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Mike and Adele Acheson of the Gleaners Legacy Society, the Isabella Soup Kitchen, Cultivate Coffee and Tap House of Ypsilanti, B. Healthy Coalition of Barry County, and Open Door Ministry.
“Hunger-Free Michigan Winners” were state Senators Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford).
Harvest Gathering sponsors and supporters include the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, Delta Airlines, Meijer, the State of Michigan, Consumer Energy, the GM Foundation, the Michigan Vegetable Council, General Mills, the Corn Marketing program of Michigan, Dow, Montmorency Tart Cherries, at&t, Altria, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Ford Motor Co., and the Michigan Pork Producers Association.