Food bank downsizing will help distribution

Food bank downsizing will help distribution

ISHPEMING — An organization in charge of food banks is making some cuts, but say it will help their overall goal of providing food to U.P. residents.

Feeding America West Michigan announced yesterday that they are closing their branch warehouses in Ishpeming and Sault St. Marie. Not because of under-performance, but because the organization found a better way to reach their goal.

CEO of Feeding America West Michigan Ken Estelle says, “The decisions we make and the actions we take are all about one thing, and that is being able to provide folks the food that they need in every community that we represent, and we represent 40 counties in Michigan including all of the Upper Peninsula.”

The organization intends to utilize their mobile food pantries, and ship fresh fruits and veggies in their refrigerated trucks from the warehouses downstate directly to the communities here. Two full–time and three part–time staff members are affected by the branch closings.

Estelle met with Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown yesterday in person to discuss the change.

Slown says, “He claims that their new process will improve distribution in our area by as much as 50%. So, I mean, I’ve seen people up there waiting in line. If they can improve on how they do that, I mean that’s their business, I think it’s great.”

Estelle says that he will help those employees affected find fulfilling situations and Slown says that he’s happy about that.

Distribution to the Western U.P. Food Bank in Houghton will not be affected by the change.