“But the righteous gives, and does not spare.” — Attorney General Bill Schuette, quoting from Proverbs 21:26, before hundreds of donors at the state’s 27th Annual Harvest Gathering at the Country Club of Lansing Wednesday.
Launched by Schuette and his wife, Cynthia, in the first year of the administration of Gov. John Engler, the anti-hunger drive has raised more than $10 million and 10 million pounds of food (enough for nearly 60 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 $305,000 and 791,000 pounds of food which will provide 2.3 million meals to families across the state. 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.
“While many of us are lucky enough to know exactly where our next meal is coming from, 16% of households in Michigan do not,” Schuette said. “The 16% is exactly why we started the Harvest Gathering, to help end food insecurity in Michigan and make sure all families can put food on the tables not just around the holidays but 365 days a year.”
Harvest Gathering sponsors and supporters include the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, Delta Airlines, Meijer, the State of Michigan, Consumers 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 Assn.
To donate or find out more about the Michigan Harvest Gathering, visit feedmichigan.org. Families in need of assistance can call their regional food bank or dial 211 to learn who is serving food in their area.