Secretary of State offices to host Harvest Gathering food drive collection sites
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today encouraged residents to donate nonperishable food at Secretary of State offices statewide as part of the 26th Annual Michigan Harvest Gathering food drive.
“All it takes to help your neighbor is a can of soup or a jar of peanut butter,” Johnson said. “Just bring these items to an area Secretary of State office. With that seemingly small gesture you are helping a local family to put food on their table when they otherwise might have gone hungry.”
Johnson thanked Secretary of State staff for making the food drive so successful every year. Since 2011, Secretary of State offices have collected almost 30 tons of food donations. The Secretary of State portion of the Harvest Gathering campaign runs through Nov. 23.
“The collaboration between Secretary of State offices in Michigan and the Michigan Harvest Gathering has provided valuable outreach to local communities in all 83 counties,” said Phillip Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “The Michigan Harvest Gathering is successful because of partnerships dedicated to making Michigan a food secure state.”
In Michigan, 16 percent of households struggle to put food on the table and 21 percent of children don’t know where their next meal will come from, according to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. The organization coordinates the program, 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.
In 2015, the entire Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign collected 300,000 pounds of food and more than $381,000. This year, the campaign’s goal is to collect enough food and funds for two million meals.
Nonperishable food items with a valid expiration date can be dropped off at any Secretary of State office.
Food items especially needed include canned meats, dry beans, soups, beef stew, pasta products, peanut butter and tuna. Other items include baby food or formula, diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. 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 about the Secretary of State’s Office:
To find Secretary of State office locations and services, visit www.michigan.gov/sos. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/michigansos. Online services are available at www.expresssos.com.
Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).