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FISH food pantry in Grand Blanc Township facing unprecedented need for donations

FISH food pantry in Grand Blanc is in need of boxes of cereal and ready-made non-perishable...
FISH food pantry in Grand Blanc is in need of boxes of cereal and ready-made non-perishable meals as the pantry continues to see an uptick in families needing assistance heading into the holiday season.(WJRT)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:15 PM EDT
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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) - There is no doubt 2020 has been a trying time for families. Just ask Barb Smith who is chairwoman of the FISH food pantry in Grand Blanc Township.

“This one girl said I wouldn’t have eaten the last 4 months if it hadn’t been for you," Smith said. “That’s why we’re here, is to help those less fortunate.”

Smith said in her 43 years volunteering for FISH, this year because of the pandemic – there’s been a surge in families needing help putting food on the table.

”With the help of getting some things from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, were able to provide at least 1 meal a day per week," she said.

And they need anybody and everybody’s help to continue being able to do that. The top two items they are in need of the most are cereal and ready made meals like Spaghettios, canned soup and other non-perishables.

“We have seniors, we have single people or young couples that are barely making it.”

Yes, in Grand Blanc City and Township – poverty is there. It’s real. People still struggle in more well off communities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Grand Blanc City and Township combined have a poverty rate of 22.7%.. Just up the road in Flint, the Vehicle City has a 40 percent poverty rate.

Rates that people like Smith want to see come down – but as the saying goes, it takes a village.

“We are there to increase awareness that we are not an exempt community, and we really need to step up and help our people,” she said.

Donations can be dropped off to St. Christopher Episcopal Church in Grand Blanc Township two days a week: Wednesdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00-12:00 p.m.

FISH is also looking for volunteers to help with this year’s Feed The Bus event happening November 21.

For more information, call 810-866-4409

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