Feeding America West Michigan – UP

Alleviating Hunger in the Upper Peninsula – A Faith Community Collarborative Effort

Alleviating Hunger in the U.P. 

A Collaborative Faith Community COVID-19
Response Effort

 In 2019, the M.E. Davenport Foundation collaborated with the Episcopal Diocese of Northern
Michigan and Feeding America West Michigan/UP to increase the number of mobile pantry distributions in the Upper Peninsula. The M.E. Davenport Foundation put up a match grant of $5,000 and the people of the Diocese met that match.
  A total of $10,000 was raised, covering the cost of 2 mobile food pantries.  This year, as a COVID-19 response, we are extending that project and appealing to all faith communities across the U.P. for contributions.  We have been in conversation with and have received commitments of participation from various faith traditions.  The Superior Health Foundation, Hoover Foundation/Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, Reynolds Foundation, Frazier Fund, and the M. E. Davenport Foundation have contributed to a match grant of $50,000.   Every dollar contributed will be matched up to this amount and will go toward food distribution in the Upper Peninsula.  No donation is too small to be significant!  When matched, a $10 donation becomes $20; a $100 donation becomes $200.  We have the potential to raise $100,000 which will cover the cost of 20 to 25 Mobile Food Pantry  distributions.

Why this issue?

Ø  In the Upper Peninsula, 1 in 8 residents faces food insecurity.  The rate for children is 1 in 5.  Given the impact of the COVID-19 virus – business and school closures and  increasing unemployment – these statistics are becoming worse.  Youth are particularly affected as many of them have relied on school breakfasts and lunches. 

Why this partnership with Feeding America West Michigan/U.P.?

Ø  Through their Mobile Food Pantries and Depot Delivery systems, FAWM/UP provides fresh produce (fruit, vegetables, dairy and bakery) and non-perishable food in all counties in the Upper
Peninsula. In 2019, FAWM/UP provided 65 mobile distributions and 1,013,658 pounds of perishable and non-perishable food was provided to U.P. residents facing food insecurity. 

Ø  Due to their ability to purchase food in bulk and “glean” fresh produce from grocery stores, farmers, and manufacturers, they are able to keep administrative costs low (1% of budget) and direct 97.5% of funds raised to distributing food.  Every dollar donated to FAWM/UP provides 4 nutritious meals for children and families. 
   

Ø  During the first seven weeks of the COVID-19 response (March 16 – May 3) FAWM distributed 537,633 pounds of food to the U.P.  This represents a 48.2% increase from the same time in 2019.  FAWM resources are becoming strapped as retailer donations are plummeting due to high consumer demand at grocery stores.  The need for donations is greater than ever.  (source: FAWM.org)

 How do you make a donation to this COVID-19 Response?

Ø  The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan has volunteered to do the accounting for this project.  Checks should be made out to FAWM/UP* and to ensure tracking and routing of funds, mailed to the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan, 131 East Ridge St., Marquette, MI 49855.  You may also donate on-line by going to:  upepiscopal.org/feeding-america-west-michigan-up/.  Donations will then be forwarded to FAWM. 

*As there are no Mobile Pantries in Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties, donations received from those areas will be matched and held in a separate account to purchase food for the Western UP Food Bank, as per their agreement with FAWM.  Please indicate this on your check. 

When does this COVID-19 Alleviating Hunger response begin and end?

Ø  The fundraising campaign will run through the month of June. 

Further questions? Contact Mary Sullivan, (email) marysullivan54@sbcglobal.net

Please put “FAWM” in the subject line.