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Local Farm Bureau Insurance Agents aiming to end hunger in Michigan

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) Robert Barrigar and Ryan Fairchild examine the truck that will help fight hunger in Michigan. The truck is fitted with a refrigeration system, so that it can transport produce to local food banks.

Alpena — Local Farm Bureau Insurance agents have taken on a tall task, ending hunger in Michigan.

Through the Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Agent Charitable Fund, local agents all over the state have put together trucks ready to hall fresh produce to food banks for people in need. Over $500,000 has been placed into the fund to help facilitate the movement of these trucks which will take unwanted produce from food producing companies to food banks. In Alpena, Local Farm Bureau Insurance agent Robert Barrigar is leading the charge, working with local businesses and families to get the region’s truck ready to roll.

“The biggest impact that we can have in the state is not having kids that are going to school, worried about where there next meal is coming from,” said Barrigar. “The more that they can focus on their schoolwork, get better grades is going to have a bigger impact pulling people out of poverty rather than, for instance writing checks to a community and using the money that way.”

Signage was prepared by Omega Electric. The truck was donated by Jerry Jr. and Diane Kuehnlein. The truck driver’s fees and skills have been donated by Sumerix Farms. Refrigeration systems have implemented in all of these trucks to help transport the food. Milk will be the first delivery down in Warren. The truck will be filled up with crates of milk to deliver, followed by produce. The hope is to have more and more of these trucks hit the roadway to continue helping those who are hungry.

For Barrigar and Omega Electric President Ryan Fairchild, it shows that the community is willing to step up to this tall task.

“We work hard here, I think most of the country knows that,” said Fairchild. “Alpena’s a small town and we have to work a little harder than most, things don’t come as easy to us here, so when we have a chance to make a difference, you’ll see a lot more people come together and work hard.”