An annual food drive started by Attorney General Bill Schuette nearly three decades ago has once again topped its goal of raising money and edibles for more than two million meals for families across Michigan.
Phil Knight, director of the Food Bank of Michigan, has announced that the 28th Annual Michigan Harvest Gathering Campaign was able to raise $305,000 and gather 400,000 pounds of food which will provide 2.2 million repasts.
Launched by Schuette and his wife, Cynthia, in the first year of the administration of then-Gov. John Engler, the anti-hunger drive has raised a total of $10 million and over 10.3 million pounds of food (enough for 81 million meals) since 1991. Cynthia Schuette came up with the idea when the now-A.G. was director of the state Dept. of Agriculture.
Over the years, Bill Schuette has presided over the pre-Thanksgiving event’s annual luncheon, most recently at the Country Club of Lansing last Thursday, armed with a pertinent biblical quote like the one he delivered two years ago: “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 noonday” (Isaiah, Section 58, Verse 10).
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.
The luncheon also honored individuals and organizations who made a difference in providing hunger relief across Michigan, including 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.