Community Comes Together to Feed Saginaw County

Six new mini food pantries are now available in Saginaw County thanks to work from many partners led by the Food Access Collaboration Team of Saginaw (FACTS), a multitude of key partnerships and a grant the FACTS committee received through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation with the Saginaw YMCA acting as fiduciary.

The pantries are now fully operational and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at the following locations:

K.C. Ling Elementary,  835 N. Pine St., Hemlock

Nativity Lutheran Church,  625 W. Clinton St., St. Charles

Houghton Jones Neighborhood Association,  1708 Johnston St., Saginaw

Great Lakes Bay Health Center,  1522 Janes Ave., Saginaw

Boys & Girls Club of the Great Lakes Bay Region,  1781 Fordney St., Saginaw

Mt. Olive Baptist Church,  1114 N. 6th Ave., Saginaw

The YMCA of Saginaw and the Greater Midland Construction Academy (GMCA) collaborated to have the pantries built by the students of GMCA. This essential piece to the puzzle gave the youth in our region a wonderful opportunity to learn and practice their trade in a real-life scenario.

Hemlock Public School Superintendent, Don Killingbeck, said “We are excited to partner with the YMCA, FACTS, and MiHIA to provide an anytime food pantry for those in need in our community.”

In addition to the grant funding, a community member, Kristin Novak, raised another $1,000 as a selfless act of kindness in honor of her birthday. The funds were used to purchase food for the pantries. Food was also donated from various food drives held by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, Bethany Lutheran Church and Preschool, and the Junior League of the Great Lakes Bay. The St. Paul Lutheran School Girl Pioneers were eager to do their part by shopping, organizing, delivering, and stocking the pantries.

These six pantries were all made possible by enthusiastic community members and organizations working together with the same goal in mind, to see a difference in their community. Tina Swanton, chair of the FACTS (Food Access Collaboration Team of Saginaw County) says, “We hope this story will inspire more organizations in our community to work together. Collaboration and partnership is the key to create change while working toward a common goal. The FACTS mission is to identify, develop and connect resources to increase food security. This can only be done when all partners are a part of the process.”

YMCA of Saginaw CEO, Steve Meyer, remarked; “The YMCA has been providing nutritional assistance for our community for nearly a decade. We recognize needs, and our mission is to find solutions. We are happy to do our part”.