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Share the Harvest Dinner: Big Rapids Helps the Hungry

The Manna Food Pantry in Big Rapids is inviting you to sit back and enjoy a locally grown meal, all to help feed the community.

Manna Food Pantry Executive Director Kevin Courtney said when people leave his food pantry with a week’s full of groceries, a burden is lifted off their shoulders.

“For many of us we don’t know what that’s like,” Courtney says. “I’m 62 years old and I’ve never once woken up in a house without food in it.”

But in order to feed the nearly 150 people they serve monthly, Courtney needs to buy food to stock their shelves.

The pantry started the Share the Harvest Dinner as a way for people to get together and enjoy a great meal, all while donating to a great cause.

Jody Gardei, Share the Harvest Dinner coordinator, said, “This is just another way for people who may not be able to, go out and donate that food to go and enjoy a night into town, while also giving back to their community.”

Gardei said so that no one in the community goes home to an empty refrigerator.

“It’s really important that we just aware how blessed we are of the food that we do have in our refrigerators and on our tables and in our cupboards because not everybody has that.”

Courtney said, “You give us the food, or the money and we’ll make sure we’ll help the neighbors in the community that need food.”

Tickets are available online at or at the following businesses: Manna Pantry, The Old Pioneer Store and Emporium, Three Girls Bakery, or Curries Gas Station.