Mobile pantry to aid food insecure area residents

Nearly 15,000 pounds of food, enough to feed at least 400 families, will be distributed to those in need at the Salvation Army in Marquette on Tuesday.

Sponsored by the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, the Marquette Rotaract Club at Northern Michigan University will host a mobile food pantry from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 18.

Fruits and vegetables, dairy products, baked goods and non-perishable items are among the foods that will be distributed at the pantry. According to the Feeding America website, food insecurity can lead to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure as well as heart disease and obesity.

More than half of the households that the network provides assistance to have at least one member living with high blood pressure and more than one-third of those households have a member with diabetes. Children who are at risk of hunger are more likely to be in poor health and struggle in school, according to the website.

This is the first year that the NMU Marquette Rotaract Club will bring the Mobile food pantry to Marquette but members of the group hope to make it a yearly event, senior criminal justice major and Vice President of the Rotaract Club Brittany Munger said.

“We are considered the No. 1 food desert in the Upper Peninsula,” Munger said.

“Bringing this truck here is helping promote health and health food access for people who don’t have access themselves.”

Feeding America West Michigan runs a monthly food pantry in Ishpeming but does not have an established mobile food pantry host in Marquette.

“We were so grateful for every group that was willing to donate to this cause,” Munger said. “The community around the area has been really supportive of bringing the truck to Marquette.”

The Rotary Club of Marquette, founded in 1916, has a mission and vision of carrying out humanitarian service, promoting high ethical standards, and continuing to work for understanding and peace throughout the world as well as here in Marquette.

The mobile pantry will require quite a few volunteers, Munger said. Those interested in volunteering can email [email protected]

“We’re extremely excited to bring the food into the community,” Munger said.