Food giveaway helps those in need on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 11:18 PM EST
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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) - In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a free food giveaway at Benton Harbor’s Central Fire Station helped serve those in need Monday.

“It’s important any day for people to have access to food, but this is a day of remembrance and a day of acknowledging a very strong individual in our world,” United Way of Southwest Michigan President and CEO Anna Murphy said.

The city, Spectrum Health Lakeland, United Way of Southwest Michigan and Feeding America all partnered together to make this happen.

“We know that food insecurity is an issue, so any opportunity we can do to assist, that’s what we’re doing today,” Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation’s Soroya Pierre-Vanartsen said.

Volunteers like those from the Lakeshore Diversity Club helped bag and distribute the food.

“Some of us live in this area, so we wanted to help out our community, and we just wanted to do something good to represent our school and our club,” Lakeshore Diversity Club Member Emmanuel Muzumara said.

People were able to drive up, pop their trunk and stay in their car to get their food.

“You see other people struggling, and they come out with a smile on their face knowing that they have hope at least for today,” Benton Harbor 2nd Ward Commissioner Jerry Edwards said.

The Feeding America truck was stocked with about 7500 pounds of food, and those giving it away say it feels good to be a part of helping others on this holiday.

“You would think it’s cold, but people still need it. People still need food. So it doesn’t matter if it’s cold. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining. We’re here and volunteers are here to help,” Murphy said.

“Being able to see people receive that they need, and also, this really helps us to determine that there is still a high level of need in our community, and there’s still so much more work to do,” Pierre-Vanartsen said.

For more on other food distributions happening in Southwest Michigan this week, click here.

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