FiveCAP hosts quarterly food giveaway

BALDWIN — Baldwin's FiveCAP office is trying to ensure the struggling families of Lake County can always put food on their tables.

The program is called The Emergency Food Assistance Program and it distributes packages of food for those in need. All income-eligible households are welcome, and FiveCAP personnel hope this will be a way they can help make providing basic necessities for residents or their families more manageable.

"TEFAP is an important project to us because, unlike our other food program, it is open to residents of all ages," said FiveCAP Executive Director Mary Trucks. "Also, the income guidelines for TEFAP are not as low as many other programs, opening it up to a wider population."

Those who want to take advantage of the program will need to pick up the packages at the Baldwin FiveCAP office.The distribution will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3.

To qualify for TEFAP, household income must be at or below 200 percent of poverty, which is $23,540 for a one-person household and increases by $8,320 for each additional member of the household. When applying, residents must provide 30 days proof of income, their date of birth and Social Security numbers for everyone residing in the household, as well as a current photo ID proving they are a resident of the county.

"A report from the Michigan League for Public Policy called ‘Making Ends Meet’ examines what it actually costs for someone living in Michigan to meet their basic needs," Trucks said. "According to their figures, a single person with an income of 200 percent of poverty is barely meeting their basic needs. As soon as you add children or begin supporting other family members, the amount needed to just get by goes up drastically. These figures don’t even account for the unexpected costs that crop up in life. By providing people at or below 200 percent of poverty with food every three months, we are able to help them extend their already stretched budget."

The December TEFAP distribution will include a wide variety of food. This includes applesauce, green beans, beef stew, carrots, dried cherries, frozen chicken leg quarters, cranberry sauce, cranberry/apple juice, apple juice, peanut butter, pinto beans, pumpkin and pink salmon.

For more information or to apply for assistance, stop by the FiveCAP office or call (231) 745-4617.