National Guard to host TroopsGiving Food Drive in Dowagiac

DOWAGIAC — The Michigan Army National Guard’s Dowagiac Armory is gearing up to help feed those who need it most.

The armory is hosting its inaugural TroopsGiving Food Drive from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Family Fare, 56151 South, M-51, Dowagiac.

The Armory will park one of its Light Medium Tactical Vehicles in the Family Fare parking lot and aims to fill the vehicle with food. Soldiers will be stationed in the parking lot to assist and load donations into the vehicle.

The National Guard is a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces that can be deployed or mobilized for federal and domestic missions. The Guard responds to domestic emergencies, overseas combat missions, counterdrug efforts, reconstruction missions and more.

Composed of National Guard military members and units from each state and territory, more than 350,000 people are currently serving. Brautigam emphasized that the National Guard is a part of the U.S. Army.

“The Army National Guard is really the community piece of the military,” said Sergeant First Class Jason Brautigam, the National Guard’s lead recruiter for the area along with Staff Sergeant Kelsey Poirier. “A teammate did a food drive for their community before Thanksgiving and we thought it would be a good idea. We have the time on our hands right now. We are recruiters and part of our job is to be in the community, so we thought, ‘let’s do a food drive, bring awareness to what we’re about and help families in need.’”

The donations will be donated to Liberty Chapel, 309 Dewey St., Dowagiac, where it will be used to stock its food pantry and help families struggling this year to put food on the table.

“We won’t turn anything away,” Brautigam said. “If the vehicle fills up, we will unload the truck at the armory and drive it back.”

The food drive means a lot to Brautigam, who has seen the impact a lack of food can have on the community.

“I’ve had recruits join because of the benefits they can receive in the future,” he said. “Some of them come from struggling families. I have donated food to recruits’ families with money from my own pocket. When they enlist, they become my family, too. We know the struggle is out there. With COVID, there’s more need this year than ever.”

Those with questions regarding the food drive are asked to call Brautigam at (269) 532-8706 or Poirier at (517) 730-4282.

Cass County

Dowagiac man pleads guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct

Business

Dowagiac business cited for COVID-19 safety violations

Cass County

Cass County Chief Judge talks COVID’s impact on treatment court

News

Historians, archaeologists with ties to Fort St. Joseph to give free lectures

Buchanan

Commission votes to make One Buchanan official city board

Berrien County

Businesses in Berrien, Cass counties report disparities in mandate enforcement

Edwardsburg

Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Log: Jan. 11-18

Berrien County

Berrien County’s only homeless shelter raising money for repair

Cass County

Cass County commissioners approve five-year parks plan

Cass County

Woman ordered to pay back money taken from disabled son

Dowagiac

Ascension CAO provides vaccine update to Rotary

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland, Berrien County Health Department give joint update on COVID-19 immunizations, numbers

Cass County

Niles man sentenced to probation, jail time for 27th criminal conviction

Berrien County

Michigan indoor dining to resume Feb. 1 with restrictions

Berrien County

Lakeland, health department seeking COVID-19 vaccination volunteers

Business

Canceled Ice Time Festival to impact local businesses

Berrien County

New Berrien County prosecutor eyes crime prevention, support services

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Cass County

Cass County deputy saves dog from icy pond

Berrien County

Slow vaccine rollout hinders southwest Michigan distribution

Buchanan

Andrews University’s urban design studio arrives in Buchanan to kickoff revitalization project

Berrien County

Berrien County vaccine supplies remain limited, residents urged to have continued patience

Buchanan

‘Freddie the Stoner’ says Jimmy Kimmel changed his life

Cassopolis

Dowagiac charity campaign doubles fundraising goal