August 18, 2019

Local food pantry perseveres despite past challenges


As winter tightens its chilly grip around Northern Michigan, so too do residents find their wallets tightening as heating, holiday and vehicle maintenance costs increase.

For those struggling to make ends meet, having a safety net of local organizations that can assist when times get tough can be the difference between a full stomach and going to bed hungry.

The Together We Can Food Pantry is one of the organizations ensuring that safety net remains strong for residents of Oscoda County. It has once again established itself as one of the few consistent sources of supplemental food assistance for local residents after going through a recent period of restructuring.

Since October, after the recent overhaul, the group has gotten back to the monthly food disbursements residents had become accustomed to relying on in difficult times. Thanks to help from Oscoda County CHOICES, the new board at the helm of the food pantry and a renewed online presence, the organization is doing far better now than it was in recent memory.

Although there have been recent large donations from local charitable organizations to the pantry, Oscoda County residents deserve a hearty commendation as well. You are the ones who stepped up to the plate to ensure Together We Can stays financially stable for the coming months. Your one-time donations and the various fundraisers you’ve hosted have made certain the coffers won’t run dry.

In recent interviews with the Herald, pantry board member Norma Lyden said she has been blown away by the level of support coming from the community. She’s said donations are frequent and generous, and she never expected the type of reception it has received from the community. Fellow board member Melissa Barve is of the same mind as Lyden, saying the overwhelming community support has brought her to tears.

In addition to the support from residents, the county government deserves recognition for the part it has played in assisting the pantry as well. For years it has allowed the charity organization to use a building located at the fairgrounds as a headquarters. It also subsidizes part of the utility costs accrued by the charity and makes sure the lot is plowed in the winter.

As much as we praise Together We Can, we also praise the residents of this gracious county for making it possible for the pantry to accomplish its mission. We hope residents continue to see the importance of local charitable organizations like this. Together, we can ensure Oscoda County residents have access to the help they need when their luck runs out.


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