By Valerie Herr
For the last few months the Napoleon Food Bank (an expansion of the Brooklyn Food Pantry) has been open and serving those in need. Thanks to the efforts of Shelly Babcock and others, living in the Napoleon School District who no longer have to travel to Brooklyn or Jackson to receive support. The Napoleon Food Bank is located at the back of the Napoleon High School 201 West St. and is open every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Anyone in need in the Napoleon School District is asked to bring their driver’s license or state I.D. to the food bank during open hours.
Scott Ashe Co-Principle of Napoleon High School and athletic director is in charge of running the food bank and once school begins Napoleon athletes will begin volunteering at the food bank. Ashe, along with other volunteers from the school, sort, organize and collect the needed items.
District officials believe this is an important piece of serving the community. Thanks to the generous support of the community they haven’t had to purchase a single item, however, with word getting out, they soon will need to start ordering food and personal hygiene items from the South-Central Food Bank in Battle Creek.
Last Wednesday, the pantry served 12 families in the two hours they were open. Once the weather turns colder, gardens stop producing and heating cost rise the food bank will enter its busiest season. November through March most food banks serve double, if not triple, the amount of families.
Officials say the pantry can only be successful through the generous support of the people and businesses in our community. Area business officials have already been holding food drives to keep the shelves full, but more is always needed.
For those interested in holding a drive, the most needed items are toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and feminine hygiene items. Cereal, oatmeal, mac and cheese and boxed meals such as hamburger helper are always in demand.
Those interested in helping can contact Scott Ashe at 517-206-5002 with any questions. Currently, any donations of non-expired items can be dropped off at the Napoleon Food Bank on Wednesdays between 3 and 5 p.m. Once school begins on August 23 donations can be dropped off at the high school office during school hours.
For those who would like to send in a monetary donation, mail them to Napoleon Community Schools in care of the Napoleon Food Bank 201 West St., Napoleon MI 49261.