Give Local Midland – May 3

f-midland-site-logoThe Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF) is again sponsoring the Give Local Midland event.  Give Local Midland is part of a national online giving happening.  This 24 hour one day event is on Tuesday,  May 3 (12:00 am-11:59 pm).  Many  nonprofits in Midland County will be part of this event.  All money donated to EFPN on this day will go into the EFPN endowment fund.  We hope to build our endowment fund to eventually fund programs such as the BackPack Buddies Program.   On May 3, you may make your donation to EFPN at www.givelocalmidland.org.   Every donation will receive matching funds. There will also be prizes and incentives awarded to the participating nonprofits throughout the day.   Check the Midland Give Local site (www.givelocalmidland.org)  to learn about some fun incentives.

EFPN Launches the “Stop Hunger Challenge”

“Stop Hunger Challenge”

$65,111.00

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For many years the Feinstein Foundation has offered an incentive to pantries to collect funds and food during the months of March and April.  The Feinstein Foundation has decided to suspend their challenge.  The Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network  has been very fortunate to  have anonymous donors come forward  and offer incentives for  donors to contribute food and money to  EFPN during March and April.   EFPN will receive  checks from these donors in proportion to the total funds and food items received during the challenge period.  Also, one of our supporting organizations will offer an incentive of 2% of the value of all food and money donated, up to a maximum incentive of $2000. All food and money collected from March 1 to April 30 will be counted for this “Stop Hunger Challenge”.   Food items are valued at $1.00 per item.  In addition, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is offering a 10% credit on our account for all money donated during this period.  In 2015, we spent almost $121,000 with the Food Bank for food purchased for our regular program as well as the BackPack Buddies and Mobile Pantry  programs.  A credit would help us reduce this bill.

Our goal for this campaign is $80,000 in food and money.  Please consider giving at this time.  Donations toward any of our programs or specific pantries  will qualify for the campaign.  Monetary donations may be sent to EFPN, P.O. Box 2521, Midland, MI 48641-2521.  Food donations may be donated to any of our pantries or to our warehouse location at 503 S. Saginaw Rd.  If you would like to leave a donation at the warehouse, please call 486-9393 to arrange a time for delivery or pickup.   Many of our supporting churches will be collecting at this time and you can continue to bring your donations to your church collection site. Check our website, www.midlandcountyefpn.org, to watch our progress towards this goal or to donate online.

Reflections on 2015

It is customary at this time of year to look back on thehappy previous year to reflect on what has been accomplished.  Our statistics are not completed, but in 2015 with the help of our supporters and volunteers, we provided food to over 2700 families who visited our eight pantries.  We currently have 625 children enrolled in our BackPack Buddies Program.  The food for the backpacks is purchased from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. We augmented the backpack once a month with a piece of fruit.  Adding that piece of fruit required the efforts of many volunteers-from buying the fruit, dividing it among 13 schools, transporting it to the Midland Public School’s garage and to the various schools and packing it in the backpacks.  In addition, we needed the funds to be able to cover this expense to our BackPack Buddies Program.  We sponsored  9 mobile pantries which served around 2110 families.  We have for many years partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide food to homebound seniors during the winter months of October thru April.  We decided to provide this food all year long.  We also partnered with Senior Services to reach additional low income homebound seniors thru this program.   Besides  the extra food distributed,  this expansion required the addition of more volunteers.  We continue to provide nutritional supplements to low income people referred to us by Cancer Services, Senior Services and DaVita Dialysis.  The amount of nutritional supplements  distributed  also increased with the expansion of the Senior Delivery Program.  We also provided vouchers for special baby formulas.  In October, we began surveying our clients who visit our pantries.  We want to make sure that we are meeting their needs, both in the kinds and amount of food we provide, but also in how they feel they are treated at our pantries.  We will continue to survey our clients for the next few months.

Just saying thank you to all our supporters and volunteers does not seem enough.  We wish you could meet the people you have helped.  Many are embarrassed to be in need of food.  They are very grateful to all of you for helping them in their time of need.  Vince Lombardi , a famous football coach said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of  the combined effort of each individual”.   We could not do the work we do without your donations of food, money and time.  We rely on the generosity of numerous donors and on a tremendous network of volunteers to keep our programs running.   We wish you all the best as we begin a new year continuing to work together to make an impact on the lives of those in need of food.

Did You Know EFPN Helps Low Income College Students?

studentsOne of the programs of the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network (EFPN) is the student assistance program which helps low income college students monthly with food. Often these students are single parents returning to school in order to get a better job in the future. Students must provide proof that they are a student. EFPN wants them to focus on getting their education without having to worry about having enough money for food. EFPN had around 28 students per month for the 2013-2014 school year.

Support EFPN While Shopping At Amazon Smile

smile
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support  EFPN every time you shop at no cost to you. When you shop on AmazonSmile,  you will find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase price of eligible AmazonSmile items to EFPN. Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.

In order to get donations for EFPN you need to shop at http://smile.amazon.com .   If you do not have an Amazon account you need to create one.  On your first visit to AmazonSmile (after you have logged into your account),  it will have a spotlighted charity but it will give you the option to choose a charity.  Please  search for Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network.   Amazon  will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to EFPN.

Senior Hunger

It could be happening to an important person in your life and you may not even know it. Grandmothers choosing between their medication or buying groceries. Grandfathers passing up meals to pay the mortgage. Senior hunger is a serious problem, but often hidden. During the winter months, EFPN provides extra assistance to seniors referred to us by DHS so they don’t have to choose between food and medication or higher utility bills. Often the food is delivered directly to the senior recipients. EFPN also provides gift certificates for nutritional supplements like Ensure for low income elderly clients.

Take the short quiz below to see if you are aware of senior hunger. This quiz is sponsored by Feeding America. There is sometime a problem with getting to the answer page depending on the browser you are using. You can get to the answer page by submitting the answers twice or you can click on the second link below to see the answers.

Senior Hunger

Senior Hunger Quiz Answers

EFPN Receives Beacon of Light Award from the Food Bank of Council of Michigan

harvest_logo_01EFPN was awarded the Beacon of Light Award at the conclusion of the Harvest Gathering of the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) in recognition of our leadership in establishing new programs and our outstanding delivery of food to those in need in Midland County. The food gathering was begun nearly 20 years ago by Midland’s own Bill and Cynthia Schuette in an effort to raise both funds and food to support the 13 regional food banks throughout Michigan. The FBCM is comprised of member regional food banks. The regional food banks, along with their subsidiary distribution organizations and branch warehouses, safely store and provide millions of pounds of surplus vegetables, fruits, and other grocery items to more than 2500 local agencies serving each of the 83 counties in Michigan. These products are made available to the agencies at a low cost (about 10 cents per pound for goods with an average retail of about $2.00 per pound). Types of agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, hospices, domestic violence shelters, head-start programs, afterschool programs, half-way houses, and group homes for the mentally ill. The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan is the regional food bank used by EFPN This award is a testimony to more than 700 EFPN volunteers who move the food through the pantry, food bank, or backpack buddy program to those in need. Everyone,including our nearly 1000 donors, should be proud of this award!

Help EFPN Feed the Hungry by Shopping At Kroger

krogersEFPN is now a part of the Kroger’s Community Rewards program. Choose EFPN when you register your Kroger Card and you will be donating to EFPN every time you shop with no additional cost to you. Kroger will donate a percentage of your qualifying purchases back to EFPN.

Supporters can earn rewards for EFPN on almost everything every time you shop! However, there are specific purchases that cannot be included: alcohol, tobacco, government-assisted pharmacy expenses, postage stamps, Kroger gift cards and Green Dot Prepaid Cards, gift certificates, bottle deposits, lottery and promotional tickets, fuel, fuel center purchases, office services and Sales Tax. Eligible pharmacy purchases include out of pocket co-pays for non-government-assisted pharmacy programs.

You need to register your Kroger card every year. Your card enrollment expires every April 30.

The EFPN Kroger Non Profit Organization Number is 91387

For information on how to register your Kroger card to support EFPN, see “How you can help” on the EFPN website.

Sign-up requires access to the Internet. If you do not have Internet access, contact us at 486-9393 and we can sign up your card.