LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Businesses around Michigan are being urged to donate food to the Food Bank Council of Michigan and other nonprofits to help restock food pantries struggling to meet demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
With more workers being laid off or furloughed because of the virus crisis, food banks are operating at four times their normal capacity. Meanwhile, the council, which supports more than 3,000 local food banks, soup kitchens and pantries throughout the state, likely won’t receive food through a federal program until July.
“Food donations are desperately needed to meet historically high demand at a time when food supplies are dangerously low, and collectively, we can make a huge difference,” Gary McDowell, director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told The Detroit News.
The department has partnered with the Governor’s office and the council to boost the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Initiative, allowing the state to accept supplies, money, or food donations.
So far, food and agriculture businesses like McDonald’s of Michigan and Peterson Farms Inc., of Shelby, have made large donations to the program.
Other companies have also donated to food banks, including the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, which contributed $200,000 in matching grants.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said donations from Michigan food and agriculture businesses will make a huge difference to families affected by COVID-19.
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