Salvation Army to return to indoor dining


MARQUETTE — The Salvation Army in Marquette and Delta counties announced they will return to indoor dining and client-choice pantry services beginning May 2.

COVID-19 restrictions and protocols called for revamping how many local residents received help during the pandemic, the organizations said in a news release. For instance, The Salvation Army said it retooled how it distributed food both through its pantry and daily lunch programs.

With those restrictions now lifted, The Salvation Army is returning to its client choice pantry service while including the option for drive-up service.

Beginning May 2, The Salvation Army will offer a hybrid version of its pantry services at all locations, including Marquette, Ishpeming and Escanaba.

“We are excited to offer client choice again for our pantry services,” said Capt. Marie Lewis of The Salvation Army Marquette County in a news release. “Client choice gives clients a grocery store experience, allowing them to choose foods their families like to eat. Clients can either choose to come through the pantry for client choice options or continue with the drive-up, pre-boxed pantry items.”

Also on May 2, the Marquette and Escanaba corps locations will return to a dine-in lunch program.

“What we missed is the interaction with our clients,” said Capt. Doug Winters, regional coordinator, in a news release. “Our clients missed the fellowship that came with breaking bread together.”

To-go lunches will no longer be offered to the public, the organizations said, but food service to the local shelters will continue.

For more information on the lunch or pantry service programs, call 906-226-2241 in Marquette or 906-786-0590 in Escanaba.

Enrollment period starts

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Anita Fox are encouraging Michiganders to take advantage of a new Health Insurance Marketplace special enrollment period for the opportunity to enroll in free or low-cost health insurance this year.

The new enrollment opportunity, Whitmer said, will help more Michiganders find free or low-cost health insurance, enabling them to protect themselves and their families while keeping more money in their pockets.

Fox noted that free local enrollment help is available for individuals at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov. They also may contact DIFS from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442 for information about getting started.

The new SEP, which went into effect in March, allows Michiganders the chance to enroll in Marketplace health coverage even if they don’t meet one of the traditional SEP qualifications, the governor’s office said. To qualify for the SEP, consumers must have a household income below 150% of the federal poverty level, which is approximately $19,000 for an individual and $40,000 for a family of four. Michiganders at this income level will also qualify for an advance premium tax credit, which may make a Marketplace plan available to them at no or low cost.

To determine SEP eligibility, log on to the Health Insurance Marketplace, available at Healthcare.gov, and either start a new application or modify an existing one. Once the application is completed and a plan is selected, health coverage will begin on the first day of the following month.

As a result of the American Rescue Plan, a recent report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that Michiganders are seeing an average premium reduction of 45%, or more than $71 per month.

The last day to select a plan during this SEP is Nov. 30, with coverage beginning on Dec. 1.

To review insurance options and enroll, visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.gov or call the Marketplace Call Center at 800-318-2596. For more information on special enrollment periods, this year’s enrollment period and other ways to get covered, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance.

Grants awarded

Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Monday announced that 19 communities around Michigan have been awarded a total of $491,834 in grants aimed at supporting small local businesses to create resiliency and strengthen downtowns.

One of the recipients is Peace Pie Company, LLC, based in Marquette, which was awarded a $25,000 grant.

Also winning a grant for $25,000 was Keweenaw Coffee Works, LLC, based in Houghton.

“Michigan’s unique downtowns are the heart of our communities, and with today’s Match on Main grants, we are helping small businesses in both peninsulas by investing in bustling commercial districts for people to visit, shop and dine in, attracting more talent and new investments,” Whitmer said in a statement. “These grants will help our cities and towns continue to grow and thrive, building on our ongoing economic momentum.

“Currently, Michigan’s unemployment rate is 4.4 percent and we have experienced 11 straight months of job growth, adding 174,000 jobs year over year in March. We will keep our foot on the gas to grow our economy, create more jobs and invest in small businesses.”

MEDC’s Match on Main program provides funding to communities that participate as a select and master level community in the Michigan Main Street program or are a Certified Redevelopment Ready community. The communities, which receive the grant funding from the MEDC, in turn award grants of up to $25,000 to eligible businesses seeking support, the governor’s office said.

The grants are expected to create or retain 135 full-time jobs, and the projects are expected to generate a total private investment of more than $2.9 million.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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