LANSING, Mich. — What started as a way to feed children and families in Holt at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has since become a permanent part of the community.
Delhi Township started with just two mini food pantries. Now there are 10.
The man behind the project is township Supervisor John Hayhoe. When COVID-19 hit hard, grocery shelves were bare, children were learning from home, which meant no free and reduced meals at school.
In Holt, 40 percent of students rely on free or reduced lunch. The community needed to find a way to feed families, which is how Hayhoe came up with the idea for mini pantries.
From there, Hayhoe partnered with Tom Large to build the pantries, one located on Bishop Road and the other in Windmill Park.
“Originally we didn’t know how to get food. I used that social media called Facebook. I said, 'If you want to donate any food, put it on my front porch,'” Hayhoe said.
Now, there’s food on his porch every day.
Although Hayhoe didn’t expect the pandemic to last this long, he hopes the pantries will continue to help his community. He says there is no stigma around the pantries and that community members are encouraged to to give what they can and take what they need.
“I think each neighborhood adopts their pantry," he said, "because that's their place."
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