Local nonprofit dealing with food pantry shortage, needs assistance with emergency shelter

Posted at 2:22 PM, Oct 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-13 15:03:09-04

(WXZ) — A local nonprofit is putting out the call for help because its food pantries are dealing with a shortage.

It all comes at a time when the organization also is looking for assistance providing emergency shelter for those in need.

"We don't have enough for one day, so we got to keep replenishing this food pantry every day," says Russ Russell, chief development officer for Lighthouse.

The nonprofit serves Oakland County and surrounding areas by helping the homeless and those who are struggling to make ends meet.

However, Russell says now shelves that are usually full with food, are not. He says the need has been greater lately.

The food pantries are in Pontiac and Clarkston, and Russell says both are running extremely low. They need basic non-perishable items including canned goods and meats, along with things like mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly and pastas. They are also in need of hygiene products and toiletries.

Lighthouse also provides year-round emergency shelter, thanks to the help of local congregations and volunteers, but is now looking for a congregation or organization to host the shelter for one week in November. That means taking in up to 35 people for that week. Many of them are children and families.

"We need a location for November," Russell said. "It's become an emergency. We can't tell people 'well, we're shutting down for a week... go find somewhere else.' It's not that easy because these are folks that are at the end of their rope reaching out for help."

Lighthouse provides the mattresses, while the congregations volunteer and provide the meals. Russell says he's seen this community step up before and believes it will happen again.

"When the word gets out, guess what? People respond," he said. "That's what's so great about the community of metro Detroit."

If you'd like to learn more about Lighthouse, donate or help with the emergency shelter, go to

You can also call 248-920-6000.