MARQUETTE — As customers walked into Art Van Furniture and Household Appliance on Saturday afternoon, they undoubtedly saw something different happening in the store: an assembly line of employees filling bags of food.
Employees, as well as friends and family, spent the afternoon packing 10,000 meals into bags that will be dispersed to different organizations and individuals throughout the Upper Peninsula. Each package will help provide a warm meal for those in need, just in time for the holidays.
“It’s actually a soup-based meal that you’ll make at home,” said Store Manager Katie Norman. “It’s got rice in it, it’s got a soy protein, and then it has vegetables in it and everything like that, and one package actually serves 6.”
Some boxes of meals were already being dispersed as they were being made, and they will continue to give out those meals throughout the holiday season as long as the supplies last. But they aren’t just going to local organizations.
“If anyone is in need, and not part of any organization, please feel free to contact us directly here at the store,” said Norman. “We did meals on wheels today, and there’s quite a list of people in the community that are in need. But if you are in need, feel free to contact us.”
But, the meals weren’t the only way the businesses gave back to the community. Along with donating the meals, Art Van and Household Appliance will also be donating a portion of every sale from November through December to local charities. They also partnered with the United Way to hold a coat drive, accepting new or partially used coats to help out locals in that way as well.
“There’s not only hungry people in the community, there’s people who are cold,” Norman said. “We live in the U.P. [after all].”
Saturday was quite possibly the largest single-day of giving back to the community by the locally owned business, but it’s just one of the many ways that they work to improve the community that gives so much to them.
“Our big thing is we’re trying to support local businesses, trying to give back to the community, and trying to show people that when you do buy local, your money comes back into the community that you live in,” said Norman. “We enjoy being apart of it, we enjoy the support. So thanks to you, and our family and friends, and our owners, we get to do this.”
If anyone would like to contact Art Van Furniture and Household Appliance about receiving meals, feel free to call them at (906) 226-2169.