RUTH JOHNSON: 2014 Harvest gathering brought in almost eight tons of food

LANSING – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today thanked the public and branch staff for their support of the 2014 Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign.

“Workers at every office stepped up to collect food and funds for their friends and neighbors in need, and our customers were extremely generous,” Johnson said. “From soup luncheons to football tailgates, our staff found creative ways to encourage donation, and because of their dedication, they delivered several tons of food to their local food banks. I am proud of their hard work and their compassion during this time of need.”

Statewide, Secretary of State employees collected more than $7,500 and almost 16,000 pounds of food at branches and office buildings. Additional funds were mailed by customers directly to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. With those donations added in, SOS customers and staff donated a total of over $8,900.

As in past years, the Sparta office ranked first in food collection, bringing in more than 10,000 pounds of food, while the Calhoun County PLUS Office brought in over 520 pounds of food. The Monroe office raised $2,315 and the Secondary Complex raised $885.

The 2013 SOS campaign raised $4,200 and more than 14,000 pounds of food.

Harvest Gathering collection boxes are placed in Secretary of State offices and state office buildings during the fall food drive.

The department has been contributing to the Harvest Gathering campaign, co-founded by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, since 1999.

The campaign is coordinated by the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which supplies the state’s regional food banks through donations of food and money. The regional food banks serve food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in every Michigan county.

“Not only do Michigan Secretary of State of State offices provide valuable donations to Michigan Harvest Gathering,” said Dr. Phillip Knight, executive director of Food Bank Council of Michigan, “but they help us raise awareness for hunger relief. We are very grateful for their support and efforts.”

The entire Michigan Harvest Gathering 2014 campaign collected 386,922 pounds (193 tons) of food and more than $375,000. For more information about Harvest Gathering, visit the Food Bank Council of Michigan website at