Pettibone donates to food program in honor of World Hunger Day

Photo courtesy of Pettibone Scott Raffaelli, right, president of Pettibone, presents a food donation to Mike Patterson, B-H-K Community Action Agency employee

Baraga — Pettibone has donated 220 pounds of nonperishable foods to the Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency, providing hundreds of meals to those in need. The local engineering and manufacturing company collected employee donations throughout May in honor of World Hunger Day.

This year, World Hunger Day took place on Sunday, May 28. According to worldhungerday.org, more than 800 million people experience hunger every day. One in nine people do not have enough nutritious food to stay healthy, and that number is on the rise. Though enough food is produced to feed the global population, one-third of it is wasted.

Hunger is not just an issue abroad — it is a problem for many people locally. According to the recent community needs assessment conducted by Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency (B-H-K CAA) in the three counties served by the agency, community members identified food as their top need.

B-H-K CAA helps to combat hunger locally through a program that includes a monthly food pantry and a monthly senior food box that outreaches to homebound individuals and those in outlying areas. “A new service we offer is delivery,” said Mike Patterson, an employee of B-H-K CAA. “I think I drove 100 miles the other day alone.”

Jean LaBerge, executive director of B-H-K CAA, estimates that each month 1,000 families take advantage of the food assistance programs provided by the agency. “The agency began a new food pantry program in May,” said LaBerge. “Going forward, the pantry will operate on a monthly basis, instead of every three months, and at five different locations: Ahmeek, Laurium, Houghton, L’Anse and Baraga. We will expand to other areas as the need arises.”

The 35-pound boxes of food prepared by the agency contain a variety of foods including frozen meats (even shrimp), cheese and canned and packaged goods.

“There is no reason for anyone to not get food from us, if eligible,” said LaBerge. “We want to reach as many people as possible. If someone has an emergency, we will put together a box for them. We will not turn anyone in need away, and we will deliver, if necessary.”

Applying for assistance is straightforward. “We don’t require proof of income,” said LaBerge. “You just have to tell us you meet the program’s eligibility requirements and provide your name, address and household information.”

“B-H-K CAA’s food programs serve the farthest reaches of our local community,” said Scott Raffaelli, president of Pettibone. “We are proud to be able to give back to our neighbors through an organization that helps to alleviate hunger issues.”

If you are struggling with hunger or would like more information, call B-H-K CCA at 906-482-5528 and ask about the food program.

The B-H-K CAA’s motto is “helping people to help themselves.” During 2021, the nonprofit organization assisted more than 3,500 individuals through providing access to food programs, as well as assistance with fuel, utilities, taxes, home weatherization, housing, transportation, and more. For more information, visit https://www.bhkcaa.org/.

Pettibone/Traverse Lift LLC is part of the Industrial Technologies Group, an affiliate of The Heico Companies. Founded in 1881, Pettibone has been recognized as the industry leader in material handling equipment since the company revolutionized the industry with the first forward-reaching, rough-terrain machines in the 1940s. For more information, call 906-379-4529 or visit www.gopettibone.com.


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