First Federal Bank’s Community Foundation has helped a number of local non–profits, but Foundation President Mike Mahler says food pantries are one type of organization they don’t see a lot of applications from.
On a quarterly basis, the Community Foundation reviews applications for grants, and more often than not, the grants are approved. However, Mahler estimates that less than five percent of these applications come from food pantries, with a total of zero applications coming from pantries right here in Alpena.
After volunteering over the summer for one of the pantries that received a grant, Mahler says there is a great need for the food drives that these groups provide.
“Clearly, based on the need I saw that day, someone ought to fill that void because if that was a good representation of people that are hungry in that area…there’s a lot. There’s a lot. I mean essentially a half of a semi–truck was passed out in essence that afternoon and the following morning,” recalls Mahler. However, food drives like these aren’t possible without proper funding, so in worst–case scenarios, shelves go empty and less people are fed.
“I saw first hand how empty the shelves were, and I’m thinking ‘you need to apply!’ We’ve got money to be able to support your mission here,” says Mahler.
As always, the foundation President encourages all local non–profits to apply for a grant. The money is intended for the community to use, and all causes will be considered. Just go to firstfederal.com/communityfoundation to find grant applications and learn more.