MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Watermelon, bread, bananas, oh my! Cars were moving and volunteers were grooving Wednesday afternoon to get healthy foods out to the Marquette County community through Feeding America West Michigan.
“Feeding America is an organization that brings foods into local communities,” said volunteer Elizabeth Wayne. “The food trucks come from lower Michigan, and they do a wide area of coverage in the Upper Peninsula so they go to different locations around the U.P. delivering food [and] partnering with different organizations.”
The need for mobile food pantries in Marquette might be higher than you’d expect. 13.4% of people in Marquette County are food insecure. In fact, in every county in the Upper Peninsula, at least 10% of people are food insecure.
“The overall goal for our mission with Feeding America is to get healthy foods into the community and to help support our community members,” said Wayne.
But, Wayne said anyone is welcome to come receive food at one of the mobile food pantries.
“It’s open to the community at large, there’s really no screening process,” explains Wayne. “You drive up to the event, you give us your name and a little bit of household information, and then we set you up with a distribution of food.”
And don’t worry if you missed Wednesday’s event, or if you don’t live in Marquette. Feeding America West Michigan normally holds multiple mobile food pantries in the U.P. every week.
You can also help the cause! Wayne said there’s a large need for volunteers to help out with distributing food at these events. Anyone over 10 years old is welcome to come help out.
“There’s very little background information needed [to volunteer]; just some general information, your name, things like that, and a confidentiality statement,” said Wayne.
“Volunteering for Feeding America is one of my favorite things to do,” says Wayne. “I really like engaging and interacting with all of our community members. Everybody who comes through Feeding America is so grateful for the service and the additional support, especially with the rising cost of food.”
To find a schedule of these events, you can go to feedwm.org.
If you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up at yoopersunited.com.