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Food drive needed to restock pantry

HANCOCK – Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly takes donations for its food pantry all year, but its annual food drive in early November is especially important for the organization, according to Carol Korpela.

Korpela, who is program director for LBFE, said the organization will be partnering with Michigan Technological University Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity to collect food to restock the LBFE food pantry.

“This is our biggest collection for the year,” she said. “We serve 85 elders each month with a personalized bag of food.”

The LBFE food drive began more than 30 years ago.

Korpela said bags for the food drive will be in the Gazette on Tuesday, and the filled bags will be collected Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If a bag isn’t picked up by that time, people should call LBFE at 482-6944 until 6 p.m., and someone will come to get it.

Filled bags should be left on porches or outside the front door of houses, Korpela said. At apartments, they should be left in a place where the pick-up drivers can see them.

Korpela said the need for items for the LBFE food pantry is ongoing.

“We collect food all year long, but the food drive goes until the end of November,” she said.

The goal is to collect about 10,000 pounds of food, Korpela said. Last year, 8,200 pounds were collected.

Matt Huey, Lambda Chi Alpha philanthropic chairman, said there will be 22 Lambda Chi members and five members of other organizations collecting the filled bags Saturday.

Huey said the fraternity members will be three to a vehicle.

“We are going to have seven vehicles on the road,” he said.

Each vehicle will be in a certain area to collect the bags, Huey said.

“They’ll patrol the area for the whole day,” he said.

If a vehicle becomes full with the bags, Huey said the volunteers will drop them at LBFE in Hancock, then return to the area to pick up more bags.

Huey said the Lambda Chi national organization suggested the locals work with Feed America to collect food, but there is no local Feed America affiliate.

“We chose Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly because it’s the local food bank,” he said.

Huey said the volunteers will be out collecting bags no matter what the weather is, but he hasn’t looked at the forecast, yet.

“I’m kind of dreading looking at it,” he said.

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