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Insurance agents fill up struggling food bank before the holidays

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) Marc Knight of the Under His Wings Christian Fellowship food pantry passes a turkey along. $2,500 worth of food and necessities were donated to the food bank just before the holidays.

Alpena — The spirit of giving was alive this morning on the Sunrise Side.

Farm Bureau Insurance Agents Robert Barrigar and Dave Bell packed turkey, canned goods, milk, and plenty of other items from Perch’s IGA. As part of their companies charitable fund, they’ve signed up to give back and tackle a major issue in the state of Michigan, ending hunger. They’ve loaded $2,500 worth of food into their truck to deliver to a local pantry in dire need.

“This is going to let us give things that we couldn’t normally get, that a small pantry the size of ours doesn’t have the opportunity to provide people with,” said Mark Knight.

Knight is the jack of all trades at the food pantry connected with Under His Wings Christian Fellowship Church in Alpena.
Their pantry serves anywhere from 60 to 100 people at a time on a budget of around a few hundred dollars a month.

“We usually end up having to stick with basic things… rice, oatmeal,” said Knight.

With the extra boost, the pantry will be able to provide the people they serve with a happier holiday.

“These people are just going to be ecstatic when they come in next week,” laughed Knight.

It doesn’t stop there. The pantry plans to introduce new classes in 2019 to help folks preserve their food and make it last. Classes like canning, gardening, and cooking will help get Michigan closer to ending hunger.

“When people come into food pantries, and they steer away from a two pound bag of rice and would rather grab a single serve, microwavable rice packet,’ said Barrigar.” It tells you that there is education that needs to be done, and I love the fact that they’re [Food Bank] willing to step up and do that.”