HANCOCK, Mich. (WJMN) – The Portage Health Foundation announced that there will be 12 opportunities for people who are in need of food to get some from a mobile food bank.
Anyone living in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties that needs food is welcome to pick up at the mobile food pantry. The pick-up locations are in Ontonagon, L’anse and Houghton. Babcock says they decided to bring the mobile food pantries to the area because they know many people are dealing with food insecurity during the pandemic.
“Oftentimes they’re deciding whether they want to spend money on food or rent and that’s not a decision we want people in our community making,” said Babcock. “So every month we’ll be having those mobile food pantries out that are going to give people an opportunity to get healthy, good food, a lot of it even coming straight from Michigan.”
PHF is spending about $66,000 on the mobile food pantries according to Babcock. He says they have several partners that have stepped up to help.
“We were able to partner with Feeding America West Michigan, that’s the people who actually bring a semi up here with the food, they’re the ones who actually procure the food from various places including Michigan Farms,” said Babcock.
Other organizations involved are the Community Action food pantry in Houghton and the Ontonagon area schools. Both organizations will be helping to distribute the food. Dr. Michelle Seguin the director of community health with PHF helped to organize with their partners for the events.
“Our director of community health worked on this project for quite a while working with all these different partners because there’s just a lot of boxes that need to be checked,” said Babcock. “A lot of food is already available to people in our community and we didn’t want to stop any of that instead we wanted to add to it.”
PHF had three mobile food bank dates in August that were a success according to Babcock. He says that everyone in line was able to get food and they also took the leftover food to other community organizations.
This month’s dates are all on Thursdays. The first is on September 10 at the Community Action Service Center in Houghton (310 E. Sharon Avenue) at 2:00 P.M. The second is on September 17 also at 2 P.M. but in L’Anse at the at Meadowbrook Arena (204 Division Street). The last event of September is on the 24th at 12 P.M. at Ontonagon Area Schools in Ontonagon (701 Parker Avenue).
Babcock says PHF is proud to be able to bring these events to the community. They are using their COVID-19 recovery fund to support mobile food banks. They are not currently seeking volunteers to help out but are accepting donations toward the recovery fund.
“All of the donations that come into that fund are used to help our community in our recovery from this pandemic,” said Babcock.
For more information about the food pantry dates or on how to give to the COVID-19 recovery fund visit PHFgive.org. You can also lookup where Feeding America will be distributing food on their website if you live outside these four counties.