CHOICES stepping in to save food pantry


MIO — Oscoda County CHOICES is stepping in to keep the Together We Can Mobile Food Pantry from folding.

Cheryl Melroy and Deb Nurse of CHOICES approached the Oscoda County Board of Commissioners at its Sept. 25 meeting in order to ask for permission to have access to the property so they could oversee the charity for the time being.

Nurse said CHOICES’ goal is not to take over the food pantry, but to do the legwork in figuring out how to reorganize the program so it doesn’t go under. She said her organization is capable of connecting the right people and resources to put together a new board and get the charity back on its feet again. The county gave CHOICES its full support.

Nurse said this charity is particularly important in the county.

“When we heard the food bank was going to fold, we knew this was something a lot of people would be affected by,” she said. “… We want to continue to provide food security for the residents of the county.”

After the meeting Nurse said the reason the previous board of the charity decided to disband was a combination of health and financial issues.

“We think we know why they’re folding,” Nurse said. “But we really are getting only bits and pieces of why.”

After a Sept. 27 meeting, Nurse said a new nine-person board was voted in to take over the charity. Norma Lyden is the chairwoman of the organization, and Ken Troyer is the vice chairman. A full list of board members was not available at press time. Nurse said she is confident the new board will be able to successfully run the charity.

As of now, Nurse said the charity is sitting at a $0 balance after donations came in paying off the liabilities left by the previous board. She said the hope is to start off with a clean slate and get back to regularly scheduled food drop-offs. She said there are already donations coming in to help pay for future drop-offs.

There will be a vegetable drop-off at the county fairgrounds Oct. 20, and a full food drop Oct. 25. Nurse said the exact time for the drops is yet to be determined. She said the group is looking for any volunteers to donate time, labor or funding. Nurse said the best way to get more information on how to help would be to attend a planning meeting Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. at the Department of Health and Human Services building.


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