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Emergency Food Pantry Loses Funding

At a time when many people are having difficulty providing food for their families, Mid Michigan Community Action’s emergency food pantry will no longer receive grant-based funding.

The agency’s emergency food pantry, which has served Clare County for over 25 years, serves hundreds of families each year with a box of food and voucher to ensure the family has enough food to get by for five days. Prior to October 1, the agency received a reimbursement from the Department of Human Services to help cover the cost of food. Unfortunately, the state of Michigan withdrew this contract to funnel funds into the state’s emergency services fund.

The reimbursement contract was the emergency pantry’s only direct funding source; losing it creates up to a $20,000 shortfall for the program.

The need for emergency food remains high; the agency’s pantries have provided assistance to over 1,500 families over the past two years.

Now that funding has been cut, the agency is reliant on donations from the community to keep the Clare emergency pantry operating; the agency is no longer able to assist the Gladwin pantry. Many in the community have already contributed.

Renasol Corporation, Clare High School and many other individuals and organizations have made donations of cash or food. The Clare Chamber of Commerce has also assisted by organizing food drives.

“We have received a tremendous amount of community support for the emergency food pantry,” Sharla Mitchell, Mid Michigan Community Action Commodity Food Manager, said. “We are dedicated to keeping this program operational; there are so many families in our community that are at risk of going hungry,” Mitchell said.

Those interested in supporting Mid Michigan Community Action’s emergency food pantry can help in multiple ways: including considering a cash donation, which can be mailed to Mid Michigan CAA, PO Box 768, Farwell, MI 48622 (please reference food pantry on your check); a cash donation via the agency’s secure online portal (just click “Donate Now”); or a food donation which can be delivered to the agency’s food warehouse 2300 E Ludington Drive, Clare. Items such as cereal, hamburger helper, peanut butter, jam/jelly, canned vegetables, tuna, canned fruit, and pasta are needed; if making a food donation please ensure the food is not expired.

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