S.O.S. gathers six tons of food for Michigan’s hungry

LANSING — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced that Secretary of State employees and customers donated more than $4,400 and nearly 12,000 pounds of food to the 2011 Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign, significantly topping last year’s efforts.

“Secretary of State employees and the people of Michigan continue to demonstrate their generosity and caring – even in these challenging times,” Johnson said. “I want to thank everyone who donated to the Michigan Harvest Gathering for helping feed those in need. Because of you, many of your neighbors had a happier holiday season and will have an easier time as we move into the new year. ”

The 2010 campaign raised $1,770 and nearly 9,000 pounds of food.

Harvest Gathering collection boxes are placed in Secretary of State offices and state office buildings during the fall food drive. The Sparta Secretary of State branch office ranked first in food collection, bringing in almost 4,800 pounds. The Flint Area SUPER!Center collected 1,002 pounds, while the department’s secondary complex in Lansing collected 646 pounds and $673. The Petoskey office raised the most money, collecting $757, while the Livonia Area SUPER!Center collected $333.

The department has been contributing to the Harvest Gathering campaign, co-founded by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, by collecting food in its branch offices 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.

Overall, the Michigan Harvest Gathering 2011 campaign collected nearly 140,000 pounds (70 tons) of food and $531,000.

For more information about Harvest Gathering, visit the Food Bank Council of Michigan website at www.fbcmich.org.