The Ishpeming Knights of Columbus this week kicked off what we hope will be a tradition as the holidays approach - donating to local food banks.
The Knights presented a $2,000 check to the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank in Ishpeming, which can certainly use the assistance.
According to the West Michigan Food Bank website, in 2012 the Ishpeming branch distributed about 725,000 pounds of food through partner agencies in its region, which covers Marquette, Alger, Schoolcraft, Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties.
The Ishpeming branch of the Feeding America program has a network of vendors that provides a wide variety of food items at a nominal fee.
Unlike other branches, the Ishpeming one operates its own pantry where it provides food to local needy families and individuals.
In addition, food bank branch manager David Mason said the number of area residents visiting area pantries has increased in recent months because of cuts to federal and state food assistance programs.
This need usually peaks during the holidays, as well, when those in need are not only dealing with providing food for their families, but face other expenses associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The program is funded entirely by donations from individuals and organizations like the Knights of Columbus.
Food pantries are also operated by Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Society facilities in the area, and these organizations also put out a call for some extra assistance at this time of year, as well as throughout the winter.
The Ishpeming Knights of Columbus deserve a pat on the back for their donation to help feed area families in need this year, and we hope others will consider donating, as well.
To get involved in the food bank, call Mason at 485-4988. Donations can be mailed to the Ishpeming branch of the food bank at1705 Ash St. Ishpeming, MI 49849.