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In an effort to get better food to Flint families to combat the potential impacts of lead exposure, the State of Michigan is partnering with a food bank to send food shipments to the troubled city.

The first shipment should reach Flint today via a partnership between Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. By the end of March, 12 truckloads of food will be dispersed around the city.

Each shipment is expected to help roughly 400 families.

“I think this is a wonderful example of neighbor helping to provide healthy food to families to mitigate the impact of lead,” said William Kerr, president of the Food Bank, in a press release Wednesday. “It involves the community, the Food Bank, local churches and the state all working together.”

Wednesday’s shipment will make food available starting at noon at the Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Flint, 1417 Stevenson St. A second distribution will take place at 1 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.

The program will supplement a mobile food pantry program already in place, by providing foods considered helpful to bodies combatting lead. Items will include: baked bean, potatoes, cereal, apples, peppers, tuna and tomatoes.

Funding comes from a $28 million supplemental funding request for Flint approved last month.

“We are focused on helping the people of Flint and know that foods rich in calcium, vitamin C and iron help address the effects of lead exposure,” Gov. Rick Snyder stated in a press release. “We encourage Flint families to take advantage of this program, one of many steps we are taking as part of the city’s recovery.”

Three more distribution events have been scheduled:

Friday, Feb. 26, at noon at My Brother’s Keeper shelter, 101 N. Grand Traverse Blvd.

Tuesday, March 1, at noon at Church Without Walls, 6202 Dupont St.

Wednesday, March 2, at noon at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1309 Ballenger Highway.

JLynch@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2034

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