NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP - Almost 113,000 pounds of food were collected this year for food pantries across the Upper Peninsula through the TV6 Canathon.
The month-long collection event wrapped up Thursday night with a live broadcast as food was divided up and delivered to the various food pantries.
Since starting in 1982, the collection has brought in millions of pounds of food, often keeping food pantry shelves full for the year.
Around 50 volunteers from local churches, school groups and Boy Scout troops formed a chain gang at the Ishpeming Salvation Army to unload two large truckfuls of donated food. (Journal photos by Johanna Boyle)
"All food donated in a local county stays in the county," said Canathon Director Scott Zerbel.
Since taking over as director for the collection in 1990, Zerbel said he has seen the donations grow to a high of 175,000 pounds of food in 2007.
Although donations were slightly down to 111,000 in 2008 due to the economy, Zerbel said the collection is still a big success every year because of the number of people it touches.
"If you don't reach that goal there's a perception of failure, and there's really no failure with this event," Zerbel said.
Even if those affected by the economy haven't been able to give as much as in previous years, they've found other ways to help out.
"I've had a lot more people call and ask to help out," Zerbel said. "That was very encouraging.