Churches Come Together to Help Their Neighbors
CLK Council of Churches Food Pantry Serves Houghton and Keweenaw Counties
Calumet, MI – According to the USDA, more than 38 million Americans experience food insecurity. This means that they lack consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life. That number includes more than 5,600 residents of Houghton and Keweenaw Counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The COVID pandemic has worsened an already difficult situation, forcing many to make impossible choices between buying food or paying their bills. To make it worse, many of these households do not qualify for federal nutrition assistance.
That is where the CLK Council of Churches steps in. This group, a coalition of Calumet, Laurium, and Keweenaw Peninsula churches, works to make sure that people in the Copper Country have access to the food they need. They maintain the CLK Council of Churches Food Pantry at 507 Pine Street in Calumet. It is open three days a week and offers residents groceries to supplement their nutritional needs.
The food pantry ended up at its current location a few years ago. The Catholic Church had been hosting the food pantry in the basement of the parish house adjoining St. Paul the Apostle Church in Calumet, but were looking for a new location. Other churches had limited space, frequently in the basement, making access difficult for some. What they needed was a ground level space.
Nancy Auer, a priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Calumet, found the perfect property. Nancy was working as a professor at Michigan Technological University and her graduate student Cameron Goble owned a building in Calumet. The location on Pine Street, previously a bar called Perkos, had a ground floor space that works for the food pantry.
Cameron was a student at MTU and had fallen in love with the Keweenaw. He had purchased the property on Pine Street with the idea of living in the Copper Country someday but had to leave the area to find work in his field of study. He agreed to rent the building to CLK Council of Churches.
Donations of money and food provide the necessities, while volunteers give their time to open the pantry. People may come in and pick up one bag of groceries per household. That bag, prepared by volunteers, contains roughly three meals worth of food and can have a powerful impact on the lives of those who need it most.
The CLK Council of Churches Food Pantry is located at 507 Pine Street in Calumet. It is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00 AM-Noon and on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:30 PM.
If you would like to help, the pantry accepts donations of canned or boxed food, money, and time. Monetary donations may be sent to P.O. Box 415, Calumet, MI 49913.
If you have food to donate, or would like to volunteer, you may come by the pantry during working hours or speak to the leadership of one of the member churches.
The CLK Council of Churches is made up of the following:
- Christ Episcopal Church
- Faith Lutheran Church
- Bethany Lutheran Church of Mohawk
- Keweenaw Catholic Churches
- Calumet United Methodist Church
- Lake Linden United Methodist Church.