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Episcopal Diocese of Michigan answers call to 'feed the hungry'

The Detroit News

Michigan food banks will get a $200,000 infusion from the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan to help them provide food to those affected by the coronavirus.

The donation stemmed from the driving need and "high demand at local food pantries and soup kitchens," as well as the fact that Michigan is a place where many cases emerged, Episcopalian officials said Wednesday.

"With more than a million unemployed in our state, people from all areas of life: rural communities, suburbs and cities are finding it difficult to feed their families," said the Rt. Rev. Bonnie A. Perry, who was recently consecrated as the 11th bishop.

"Hunger is real and hunger is debilitating," said Perry. "As people of faith, we want to answer Jesus’ call to 'feed the hungry.' In the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, we care about our communities and we act when we see a need. That’s how we live out our faith."

Perry said the people of the Diocese of Michigan responded "by putting their faith into action." The diocese said it combined money from a fund established in 1940 to assist people with tuberculosis with gifts from All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Pontiac and Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills to create a $100,000 fund. Then it challenged people in the 76 congregations throughout the diocese to match it.

The money will be given to several of the major food bank distributors that supply food programs in all nine counties where the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan has congregations:

►Forgotten Harvest - $100,000 – (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties)

►Gleaners Community Food Bank - $50,000 (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties)

►Food Bank Council of Michigan - $20,000 (Washtenaw, Livingston, and Lenawee Counties)

►United Way of Jackson County - $25,000 (Jackson County)

►Greater Lansing Food Bank - $25,000 (Ingham and Clinton counties)

"For 30 years Forgotten Harvest has been feeding Metro Detroit’s hungry. This pandemic has caused many people, possibly for the first time, to require additional help,” said Kirk Mayes, the CEO of Forgotten Harvest.

"We have been filling this additional need through our normal pantry locations and by adding Forgotten Harvest On the Go Mobile Panty distribution sites. We are proud to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. These donated funds will help support our distribution efforts and our continuing mission of distributing fresh, nutritious food free of charge to Metro Detroiters in need."