UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – Starting March 1, the COVID-19 emergency increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, will expire.

The good news is that Feeding America West Michigan is set to provide 142 mobile food pantries this year across the Upper Peninsula. Feeding America West Michigan will also be able to provide more food to families through the USDA’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

“Typically, it will be more food, it may be more items,” said Ken Estelle, president and CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “Typically, there will be eight or nine items on a truck and that may be growing to 10 or 12 or 15 items, including those commodities as we get that moving forward and that’s new for this year.”

More than 290,000 people in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are food insecure. That’s about 1 in 8 of our neighbors at risk for hunger. In 2022, Feeding America West Michigan provided 133 food distributions throughout the U.P., which was about 1.3 million pounds of food for about 40,000 people. To continue its mission of addressing food insecurity in our communities, Feeding America West Michigan is looking to expand its mobile food pantries in the U.P.

“Currently we don’t do a lot today in the western U.P. but that is changing, so we’re actually looking to expand, again this year, to really increase our mobile distributions in the western counties as well,” said Estelle. “We haven’t done a lot there, but we hope to really be expanding in Gogebic, Ontonagon, and Houghton areas. So those will be increasing, but a lot of the numbers are aligned where the population centers are, because that’s where the people come. But we try to make sure that we’re covering the county where folks don’t have to drive an hour to get to a distribution at the same time.”

Below are upcoming Feeding America West Michigan mobile food pantries in the U.P. for the month of March. Attendees will not have to show identification or proof of income to receive food; however, they will be required to provide basic contact information and affirm that they are in need of food:

Feeding America West Michigan is one of 200 food banks in Feeding America’s nationwide network. The non-profit organization is one of seven Feeding America member food banks located in Michigan. To learn more on how to volunteer, donate, or find a Feeding America mobile food pantry near you, please visit www.feedwm.org.