Drive-Thru Food Pantry for Hospitality & Service Workers

Hospitality, restaurant, and other service workers that help make Northern Michigan a wonderful place to live and play are some of the folks hardest hit in the COVID-19 crisis. Knowing that many of these workers often live paycheck-to-paycheck even before the crisis, a group of caring Harbor Springs residents approached Manna Food Project (Manna) to explore ways to help. 

Together, they found a solution: organizing a drive-thru, mobile food pantry. 

The mobile pantry will be held at Boyne Highlands, 600 Highland Drive, Harbor Springs-every Wednesday from April 15 through May 6. Manna staff and volunteers will distribute pre-assembled food boxes with an assortment of shelf-stable items, along with a bag of fresh and frozen items, from noon to 3 p.m. 

"While this mobile pantry is dedicated to support Harbor Springs area service workers, no one will be turned away," say Kim Baker, Manna's executive director. 

When those in need of food assistance arrive at the ski area main parking lot, they will be asked to provide only basic household information, including name and address-all from the safety of their car. No prior registration is needed, and all food is distributed free-of-charge. 

"This is extraordinary generosity that will help a very deserving segment of this community's residents," said Mike Chumbler, president and general manager of Boyne Highlands. "We are excited to be the host site of each week's drive-thru event and anticipate a response that will quickly confirm the depth of need among hospitality and service workers throughout the area." 

"I've often said that we live in a most caring community, and my hat goes off to this small group of anonymous donors for making this effort possible," says Baker. 

"The restaurants and resorts in our area bring so much joy to so many of us, and our hearts go out to those affected by early seasonal layoffs and restaurant closings," says one of the donors. "We love you. We miss you. And we look forward to seeing all of you again."