The Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network (EFPN) recipients have benefited from the red tags of the Sharing Tree. The stories represented typical people we encounter at our pantries. The needs were for personal care items, kitchen supplies, restaurant and grocery gift cards. United Way is introducing a new system for red tags. Instead of buying actual items, donors can go online and contribute money in various categories at the Impact Store. EFPN will receive funds so that we can go and purchase the needed items. The Sharing Tree has been very valuable in allowing us to make Christmas special for our recipients. Sometimes these are the only presents these families receive. You can support the Sharing Tree Red Tag program by making a contribution at the Impact Store (SharingTreeMidland.com). On Cyber Monday ( November 27) the Charles J.Strosacker Foundation will provide a dollar for dollar match for all Impact Store donations. Donations can be made until December 22.
EFPN has a partnership with the Chippewa Nature Center. In the fall months, deer that are harvested at the Nature Center are donated to EFPN. EFPN has the deer processed with a U.S.D.A. approved processor, and the venison is given to clients.
EFPN also runs a venison program independently of the Chippewa Nature Center program. Deer can be delivered to 784 South Poseyville Road, Midland or we will pick up any deer within a 50 mile radius of Midland. Information or to request a deer pick up can be found by calling (989) 835-9601. EFPN pays for the processing of the donated deer. We are grateful to the Chippewa Nature Center and their hunters as well as other hunters for providing venison for our clients.
EFPN is now enrolled as a participating organization in Thrivent Choice. Thrivent Choice is a charitable grant program that allows eligible Thrivent Financial members to recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes part of its charitable outreach grant funds each year. Eligible Thrivent Financial members can direct available Choice Dollars® to EFPN at any time. To learn more about Thrivent Choice and direct Choice Dollars®to EFPN , visit Thrivent.com/thrivent choice or call Thrivent at 800-847-4836, and say “Thrivent Choice” when prompted.
Two girl scout troops came to the EFPN offices to learn about EFPN. Girls Scout Troop 50721 brought boxes of girl scout cookies. The girls counted the boxes in and put them on the shelves in our warehouse. Our pantry coordinators took the boxes from our warehouse for their pantry shelves. The cookies were a special treat for our clients. The girls also counted a food donation that had come in and shelved the items. Girl Scout Troop 50574 brought items for birthday kits. They had a tour of the SAMS pantry, one of our eight pantries. They were given the task of selecting a weeks worth of food for a two person family. We want to thank these troops for supporting EFPN and their willingness to learn about our organization. We also want to thank their leaders and their parents for teaching them to be concerned for those in need.
One 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.
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.
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.
EFPN 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!