Food Demand Reaches All-time High at Many Local Pantries - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Food Demand Reaches All-time High at Many Local Pantries

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For many northern Michigan food pantries it has been a constant battle just to keep food on the shelves this winter.

Donations are down and demand is up. The Gathering United Methodist Church in Harrison says it has seen the biggest jump in visits over the past year.

"Twenty families a month last year at this time and we'll surpass probably 75 families this month," said Pastor Mike Simon.

Recent food drives by the Boy Scouts and a snowmobiling club have helped feed the additional families but the church says the supply will not last forever.

The Salvation Army in Cadillac is also seeing more people. The non-profit is dealing with fewer donations from the Red Kettle Campaign and fewer food donations.

"All the food we're giving out is generally food that we're purchasing from the food bank," said Captain Mark Nance.

Giving normally drops after the holidays and picks up in the spring.

The pantries expect demand will continue grow until a major turnaround in the local job market.

Contact your local pantry if you would like to donate. The Salvation Army says cash donations can go along way because the charity can purchase food at discounted rates.

9 and 10's Kyle Mitchell and Photojournalist Joel Deaner have more on what this means for pantries and people in need.