Honor donates $1,000 to ACTION Ministries food pantry

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

DOWAGIAC — Thanks to a day of giving by a regional credit union, a Dowagiac food pantry has received a donation large enough to feed community members in need for a month.

As part of Giving Tuesday, a nationwide event following Black Friday, Honor Credit Union donated $1,000 to the ACTION Ministries food pantry, 301 Main St., as well as donating a total of more than $27,000 to 27 organizations across southwest Michigan.

“That’s going to feed our pantry for a month,” said ACTION Ministries President Karen Benedix.

For every $1 Feed the Hungry raises, ACTION Ministries is able to purchase $6 worth of food, according to the organization, meaning the $1,000 donation equates to $6,000 worth of food.

“Today is Giving Tuesday, a day for global generosity,” Honor Credit Union representatives wrote in a social media post. “That is exactly what the credit union movement is all about.”

The donation comes at an important time for the pantry. Benedix said the need is great in the area, and the pantry served 61 families the week before Thanksgiving.

“I’m feeling just humbled,” said Honor Credit Union Vice President of People Resources Jessica Kehrer. “It’s so easy to take food for granted. I just go to the cupboard and get something to eat … you guys are doing great things.”

Traditionally, the ACTION Ministries food pantry is a place for local residents in need of food assistance can gather, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has adapted by packing boxes to take out to people outside. There is also a drive-through pantry the group operates out of the back of their building. The pantry includes sections for the specific needs of children, elderly, gluten-free and homeless.

Every weekend, about 16 volunteers come and assist the pantry with packing and delivering boxes. Overall, ACTION has between 60 to 70 volunteers who want to help the organization distribute food.

“Luckily, all the people who help want to help,” Benedix said. “In their hearts, they are for the hungry and want to help the hungry. That makes a big difference.”

Benedix said ACTION could always use more volunteers, though. Those interested in helping the food pantry can call (269) 782-0000.

In addition to the food pantry, ACTION Ministries takes part has mobile food trucks that participate with other charities such as C. Wimberley’s Feeding the Hungry. Staff and volunteers also distribute senior commodities as part of the federally-funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program and The Emergency Food Assistance Program, as well as provide transitional housing through the court system.