Feeding the Hungry: Three Decades of Harvest Gathering
“Let us not grow weary while doing good.” — Attorney General Bill Schuette, quoting from Galatians, Section VI, Verse 9, before hundreds of virtual gatherers at the state’s 30th Annual “Harvest Gathering” connected by ZOOM early this week (11/17).
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 more than $11 million and 12.5 million pounds of food (enough for over 60 million meals). Cynthia came up with the idea when the former Congressman/Judge/state Senator/Attorney General was director of the state Dept. of Agriculture in the early 1990s.
This year’s effort brought in $141,576 and an uncountable number of pounds of edibles, which had to be collected this year for the first time by virtual shopping because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 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.
Cynthia and Schuette were honored with the naming of a new award that will be given out each year henceforth for high achievement in Michigan’s pre-eminent food drive.
As Katie DeBow, the Food Bank Council’s CCO, observes, “Michigan will become a food secure state when each person has access to proper nutrition acquired by dignified means.”
Harvest Gathering sponsors and supporters have included 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.