Michigan Harvest Gathering kicked off its 26th year of statewide hunger relief with a bus tour Thursday, Sept. 22, at the state Capitol.

Michigan Harvest Gathering kicked off its 26th year of statewide hunger relief with a bus tour Thursday, Sept. 22, at the state Capitol.

The tour began during the Farmers Market at the Capitol, in collaboration with the Michigan Farmers Market Association, and then headed to Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park. Michigan Harvest Gathering founder Michigan Attorney General Schuette was joined in Lansing by Mike Senyko, chief of staff, Michigan Secretary of State as well as representatives from the Food Bank Council of Michigan, General Motors, Michigan Health and Hospital Association and Greater Lansing Food Bank.

“The Michigan Harvest Gathering is our way to help feed those who are in need across the state,” said Schuette. “Since 1991, we’ve raised nearly 10 million pounds of food and $10 million to stock the shelves and pantries of Michigan food banks. The Michigan Harvest Gathering is the state’s way to give back to those who need it most.”

Dr. Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, said “Hunger is stoppable and food insecurity will meet its match. As a state, we need to come together to end hunger and create a food secure Michigan.”

Michigan Harvest Gathering was founded in 1991 by Bill Schuette, then the director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture, and his wife, Cynthia. Partnered with the Food Bank Council of Michigan, Michigan Harvest Gathering’s campaign has raised over 54 million meals.

This year, the collaboration with the Michigan Farmers Market Association is a welcome addition.

“The Michigan Farmers Market Association is pleased to host the kickoff for the Michigan Harvest Gathering at the Farmers Market at the Capitol,” said Amanda Shreve, program director. “We believe all Michigan residents should have access to fresh, healthy food to feed their families, and that’s why we support farmers markets that accept food assistance benefits and a robust emergency food network. We look forward to celebrating both today.”

To donate or find out more about the Michigan Harvest Gathering, visit feedmichigan.org.

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