Food Bank of Eastern Michigan doubles 2019 output already this year

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 7:06 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan passed out 33 million pounds of food to families in need during the coronavirus pandemic from March through October of 2020.

That amount in seven months is double what the organization distributed for all of 2019. They are gearing up for what could be the toughest winter season in the food bank’s history.

The line stretched as far as the eye could see down Lewis Street as dozens waited at the Martus Luna Food Pantry on Wednesday.

“We get here at 6 a.m. and there’s already a line,” said Art Luna, who is director of the pantry.

This isn’t the first distribution to see lines like this. As the coronavirus pandemic possibility enters a second large wave, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan expects to see historic need in mid-Michigan communities.

“Last week we had over 400 families. We started doing this when the pandemic started,” Luna said. “Over the last three months we’ve seen over 6,000 people and 3,000 families.”

The holiday season also brings a greater need for families, but Food Bank of Eastern Michigan CEO Kara Ross said the nonprofit is hoping to raise $800,000 to keep up with the need they expect this year.

“Being in this work for more than 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” she said. “The unemployment and people being underemployed right now working two or three jobs. We’re just so thankful for the community partners who can help.”

Flint’s Martus Luna Food Pantry typically serves around 20,000 people a year on average. This year they’re on track to serve nearly double that number. Click here for more information about how to support the pantry.

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