Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today announced that all Secretary of State branch offices will be collecting nonperishable food items as part of the annual Harvest Gathering campaign.
The campaign begins today and runs through Friday, Nov. 15.
“Secretary of State offices have been participating in the Harvest Gathering for 20 years, and in that time, our generous customers and staff have donated more than 155 tons of food and $42,000,” Benson said. “Because donations stay in the area in which they are collected, every food or personal care item you drop off at a Secretary of State branch office will assist someone in need within your community – a family, a veteran, a senior citizen, a homeless neighbor.”
In 2018, the statewide Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign, which included the Michigan Health and Hospital Association and multiple state departments, collected 1,285,000 pounds of food and more than $329,000.
“Creating partnerships between corporations, small businesses and government is critical to making Michigan a food secure state,” said Dr. Phillip Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “Our partnership with the Secretary of State during the Michigan Harvest Gathering is vital in reaching every community in our 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 Harvest Gathering 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.
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 should be made online at FeedMichigan.org.