The holidays are only a distant memory for most of us, a time of celebration and spreading of goodwill toward one another.
This may be most evident to those who assist local organizations providing food to area residents in need, such as the St. Vincent dePaul Society and the Salvation Army.
These organizations operate food pantries that stock up pretty full around the holidays through the generosity of the communities they serve, but within a few months the shelves begin to look a little bare.
This presents an annual challenge for these groups to serve those in need, including on the west end of Marquette County.
However, a recent effort by a group of volunteers in western Marquette County helped replenish charitable food pantries.
Project Food for a Neighbor was conducted for the third year in a row recently and collected between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds of food.
The food stocked the shelves in the St. Vincent dePaul Society food pantries in Ishpeming and Negaunee and the Salvation Army food pantry in Ishpeming.
This effort didn't simply involve people dropping off donated food at a designated location, either, with a small army of volunteers donating two Saturdays in a row to the collection.
On April 14, about 4,500 bags were distributed in neighborhoods in Ishpeming, Ishpeming Township and Negaunee, which was added to the project this year. The bags, which were donated by Jubilee Foods and Super One, included a note attached that asked residents to fill them with non-perishable food items
Then this past Saturday, the bags were placed out on porches by 10 a.m. and the large number of volunteers collected them for the pantries.
Organized originally by a group from Wesley United Methodist Church in Ishpeming, this year members of St. Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee got involved to increase the coverage area and impact of the food drive.
The churches, volunteers and businesses involved in the effort deserve a pat on the back from the community for helping to feed area residents who may need a little assistance now and then.