United Way of Southwest Michigan launches Summer Stock Up food drive for local pantries

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — With Kellogg Company and its charitable fund as a primary driver, United Ways across Michigan are participating in a first-ever statewide event to collect food in their areas, for their areas, throughout June.

Every year, food pantries across southwest Michigan are fully stocked in the winter months thanks to generous holiday donations — but when summer comes, donations drop considerably and pantry shelves become sparse, according to United Way representatives. This can leave low-income, hard-working families with limited options during this time of year.

United Way of Southwest Michigan asks local businesses and community members to participate in its “Summer Stock Up” event to restock local food pantries with items to get them through the warmer months.

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 Company, and the corporation stepped in to help reconceptualize it as a statewide “Summer Stock Up.” As the premiere sponsor, Kellogg Company and its charitable fund has been a leader in rallying 24 United Ways in Michigan to the cause. Additional support has been provided by American Electric Power Foundation and Dash Digital Services. In-person and virtual versions of the event will be available depending on the needs and situations of each United Way.

Residents can either drop off items at a donation locations or United Way can do the shopping.

“Just pick how much you want to spend, and we’ll make sure each pantry gets exactly what they need,” said Jennifer Tomshack, marketing and communications manager for United Way of Southwest Michigan.

 

Residents can buy items and drop them off at one of these three locations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 24:

  • Freshwater Community Church – Common Area, 600 E. Michigan Ave., Paw Paw
  • First Church of God – Life Center, 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph
  • Berrien County Youth Fair – Youth Memorial Building, 9122 US HWY 31, Berrien Springs

 

Shop at one of these locations and drop items in the bin at the front of the store throughout the month of June:

  • Harding’s Friendly Market, 14 W. Monroe St., Bangor
  • Dollar General, 33933 M-140, Covert
  • Village Market, 108 E. Delaware St., Decatur
  • Village Market, 407 S. State St., Gobles
  • Harding’s Friendly Market, 10 N. Center St., Hartford
  • Family Fare, 847 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw
  • Martin’s Super Market, 5637 Cleveland Ave., Stevensville

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