The Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network (EFPN) is a non-profit, tax exempt charitable organization established in 1983 as a cooperative effort of area churches and other organizations to provide food and supplies to people in Midland County who have emergency needs and are living near or below the Federal poverty level income guidelines.
In January and February 1982, unemployment in Midland County rose from 12.6% to 13.7%.
Discussions began at Memorial Presbyterian Church on how to help the growing food needs of those in Midland County. A pantry was established at Memorial Presbyterian. It was apparent that the need would increase. A survey was conducted in 1982 to determine how to help those in need. Over 200 surveys were completed and the results showed that the majority of those polled preferred emergency food rather than other food assistance such as a soup kitchen. In 1983 the Network was established with 5 pantry sites. EFPN has grown over the years to encompass a number of special programs as well as eight pantries.
EFPN provides coordination among pantries, supporting churches , groups, and agencies in the distribution of food and supplies by:
- Maintaining the office of the EFPN Coordinator who interviews referred persons, contacts the pantries, keeps records, and maintains contact with churches and social agencies. The Coordinator and substitute are the only paid employees of EFPN.
- Providing information and policy guidelines to participating churches, community groups, and donors.
- Acting as an agent to receive and distribute among member pantries various donations, gifts, or grants from churches, groups, and individuals.
- Cooperating and coordinating with other agencies to improve the level of human service activity within the Midland County Community.
- EFPN is governed by by-laws, policies, and guidelines established by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors includes four officers, representatives from each pantry, six members-at-large representing supporting churches and groups, the Backpack Director, the Executive Director, and Coordinator.
- Membership in EFPN is open to any church or group that has made an in-kind or cash donation for the work of EFPN during the calendar year. Each participating church or organization is entitled to send two voting representatives to the annual meeting which is held in April, and to submit names for nomination to the Board of Directors.
- EFPN is a non-profit tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code. EFPN has an annual financial review by a CPA.
- EFPN does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.
Becoming a Member Pantry of EFPN
An existing pantry may join EFPN, if they are willing to abide by the policies and procedures of EFPN, have a base of support, and sign a written agreement between the pantry and EFPN.
The Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Networks partners with The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. America’s Second Harvest and Hidden Harvest in order to serve the people of Midland County. The work of EFPN is supported by numerous organizations, churches and individuals within Midland County.
Poverty Statistics in Midland County
- 12.6 % of Individuals live below poverty level
- 8% of Families live below poverty level
- 18.8% of Children live below poverty level
- 11.8 % of Families with children under 5 live below poverty level
- 28% of Households with single mothers with children under 18 live below poverty level
- 47.2 % of Households with single mothers with children under 5 live below poverty level
- 27.3% of Midland County students qualify for free or reduced Lunch fees
- 7.1 % of Children under 18 are uninsured
- 27.6% are Insured by State (either Medicaid or MIChild)
- Increasing number of homeless from 172 in 2005 to 219 in 2007
- 30 % of Homeless are single adults and 50% are families with children
- Largest number of people living in poverty are in the City of Midland
- Poverty has increased in Midland from 8.4 % in 2000 to 12.6% in 2007
- National rate of poverty of 12.3%
Source: Health & Human Services of Midland County; Kids Count in Michigan, 2006; US Census Bureau; Michigan League for Human Services, 2007;Michigan,gov,