Secretary of State collect food items for Harvest Gathering

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land recently announced that residents can help needy families throughout Michigan by donating nonperishable food items at local Secretary of State branch offices.

Land kicked off the 20th annual Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign at the state Capitol alongside Bill Schuette, a founder of Michigan Harvest Gathering, and first gentleman Dan Mulhern. Brian Peters, vice president of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association; Linda Jones, executive director of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council and Jane Marshall, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan also joined in the announcement.

"In Michigan, 12 percent of households are struggling to put food on the table," Land said. "And 1 in 6 children is at risk of hunger. However, you can help change these statistics for the better. I encourage you to donate to Michigan Harvest Gathering and help provide families in your community with meals."

The 2010 goal is 300,000 pounds of food and $800,000, which is estimated to provide 4.2 million meals in Michigan. In 2009, Michigan Harvest Gathering collected more than 284,000 pounds of food and $559,000.

Donated items can be dropped off at any Secretary of State branch office through Friday, Dec. 10.

The campaign is coordinated by the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which supplies the state's regional food banks through donations of food and money. The regional food banks serve food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in every Michigan county.

People are asked to donate food items such as canned meats, dry beans, soups, beef stew, pasta products, peanut butter and tuna. They can also donate baby food or formula, diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The Food Bank requests donors avoid items in glass, as they often break in transit. Financial donations may be made online at

Published: Wed, Oct 6, 2010