Barry County United Way launches Summer Stock Up food drive for local pantries
With Kellogg’s as a primary driver, United Ways across Michigan are participating in a first-ever statewide event to collect food in their areas throughout June.
Every year, food pantries across Barry County are fully stocked during the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations—but when summer comes, donations drop considerably and pantry shelves become sparse. This can leave low-income, hard-working families with limited options during this time of year.
Barry County United Way is asking local businesses and community members to participate in our “Summer Stock Up” event to restock local food pantries with items to get them through the warmer months.
Join United Way in bringing some cheer to local pantries this June!
Drop-off locations and dates/times:
Thursday, June 24th from 9am-Noon
Barry Community Enrichment Center
231 S. Broadway in Hastings
We are asking that the community rally together to bring as many of the following items as possible: Boxed max & cheese, canned vegetables, boxes of cereal, canned fruit.
OR “shop your impact” online:
Morgan Johnson, Director Outreach & Community Engagement, “It is truly amazing how far the dollar can stretch when we utilize partnerships – like with the South Michigan Food Bank. Our local Fresh Food Initiative program is able to purchase food at 19 cents per pound through the Food Bank of South Central Michigan – meaning that for our program specifically, we are spending around $250 each week for a truck full of 8,000-10,000 pounds of food to distribute to almost 200 families total.”
How Summer Stock Up was born
The statewide Summer Stock Up event evolved out of the popular “Christmas in June” local food drive that was done annually by United Way of Southwest Michigan. In 2020, because of the pandemic, UWSM pivoted from an in-person food drop-off event to a virtual event that provided safe shopping options that allowed donors to “shop their impact” by giving online.
The success of “Christmas in June” caught the attention of Kellogg’s, and the corporation stepped in to help reconceptualize it as a statewide “Summer Stock Up.” As the premiere sponsor, Kellogg’s has been a leader in rallying 23 United Ways in Michigan to the cause. In-person and virtual versions of the event will be available depending on the needs and situations of each United Way.
Addressing food insecurity is critical
38 percent of Michigan households work but struggle to make ends meet.
27 percent of Barry County households live at or below the ALICE threshold.
Those households—whose incomes are above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living—are referred to as ALICE, which stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.”
Over the last decade, behind the veneer of a strong economy, conditions have actually worsened for thousands of families across Michigan—setting the stage for the dual health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why?
- The cost of living has been increasing for ALICE households.
- The economy is increasingly dominated by jobs with low wages and less security.
- The number of ALICE households in Michigan increased in response to the Great Recession and never fully recovered.
Much of United Way’s impact work is designed to help ALICE. Michigan United Ways report annually on ALICE data and analysis. For more information on how the Barry County United Way is working with our ALICE population, visit our website at www.bcunitedway.org
ABOUT Barry County United Way
The Barry County United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of Barry County communities. We understand that we cannot do this work alone and we strive to be in partnership with others around Barry County to create a stronger community for all. Not only are we able to assist with allocating your investments directly back into local agencies, but we are also able to utilize State and local grants, designations and other funding to provide many programs directly through our office. 100% of your gift is making HOPE HAPPEN as your entire investment goes directly to local programs and services that are making a different in Barry County. Thanks to the Florence Tyden Gross Endowment, all administrative and fundraising expenses are covered. Thank you for being a part of the solution and choosing to LIVE UNITED.