MARQUETTE - Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reminds residents that there's still time to donate nonperishable food items at local Secretary of State branch offices as part of the 21st annual Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign.
"Eighteen percent of Michigan residents struggle to put food on the table and nearly one in every six Michigan children is at risk for hunger," Johnson said. "Please visit one of our branch offices to drop off your donation to help your neighbors in need this holiday season. All donations collected in Michigan stay in Michigan to help local families."
The 2011 Harvest Gathering goal is 300,000 pounds of food and $750,000. Last year, Michigan Harvest Gathering collected more than 180,000 pounds of food and $930,000.
Capt. Shelley McClintock stocks canned food at the Marquette Salvation Army food pantry. Many low-income area residents depend on the Army's free food program to adequately feed their families. (Journal file photos)
The campaign is coordinated by the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which supplies the state's regional food banks through donations of food and money. The regional food banks serve food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in every Michigan county. The Food Bank Council wrapped up its annual campaign Nov. 10 but the Secretary of State's branch office campaign runs until Friday.
People are asked to donate food items such as canned meats, dry beans, soups, beef stew, pasta products, peanut butter and tuna. They can also donate baby food or formula, diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. People donating items should check the packages to ensure the food donated isn't past its expiration date. The Food Bank requests donors avoid items in glass, as they often break in transit. Financial donations may be made online at www.feedmichigan.org.
For more information about branch office locations and Secretary of State services, visit www.Michigan.gov/sos. You may also sign up for the official SOS Twitter feed, www.twitter.com/Michsos, and Facebook updates, www.facebook.com/Michigansos.
Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).