Feeding America mobile pantry to visit county

To bring a Feeding American mobile food pantry to Iron County, $1,000 was needed. NorthStar Health Systems and Thrivent Financial donated $500 each to the effort. Pictured, from left, are First National Bank & Trust Community President Jerry Bugby (Salvation Army Advisory Board member), NorthStar’s Abby Miller, Pastor Bonny Kinninen (Salvation Army Advisory Board member), Salvation Army’s Tara Blagec and Thrivent’s James Quayle.

By Jerry DeRoche
IRON RIVER—After months of efforts by several people and organizations, needy families and individuals are about to get some help in Iron County.
    The Salvation Army in Iron County will host a mobile pantry provided by Feeding America on Saturday, Oct. 18, in the parking lot at First National Bank & Trust in the Riverside Plaza.
    The food distribution is expected to begin around 10 a.m. Organizers suggest a beginning arrival time of 9:30 a.m.
    No preregistration is required, and equal portions will be distributed to each individual/family, so organizers said there is no need for early arrivals.
    The Feeding America truck, sent from the West Michigan Food Bank in Comstock Park near Grand Rapids, will haul 15,000 pounds of food for needy recipients.
    “We have been looking for good causes all along,” said First National Bank & Trust Community Bank President Jerry Bugby, who is on the Iron County Salvation Army Advisory Board Council. “My understanding is that Feeding America had identified Iron County as having a higher need than other counties and that there was potentially a free truckload out there.
    “And we’ve been waiting for it and waiting for it. At one point, I just suggested, ‘Hey, let’s not wait anymore. Let’s just get some money.’”
    So Bugby solicited donations from both Thrivent Financial and NorthStar Health Systems for the $1,000 necessary to bring the truck to the county. Each agreed to donate $500. Once they did, the plans to bring the food began in earnest.
    Tara Blagec, director of the Salvation Army of Dickinson County and Iron County field representative, spearheaded the effort and said the exact contents of the truck won’t be known until two days before the event.

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