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Northern Michigan based nonprofit helps farmers, food pantries with fundraiser

Courtesy of the Groundworks Center for Resilient Communities
Loma Farm in Leelanau County

With the closing of schools and restaurants, some farmers are finding themselves with produce waiting to be distributed. 

In an effort to help, Groundworks Center for Resilient Communities in Traverse City is raising money to allow local food pantries to buy from local farmers. 

The nonprofit has currently crowdfunded $101,011

The Director of Programs for the nonprofit, Meghan McDermott said food pantries are trying to stock up before the demand increases. 

“(Food pantries) are struggling to get large quantities of food into the pantries,.” McDermott said. “We want to make sure that those limited resources don't have to be going toward things that our farmers can produce in northern Michigan.” 

The fund will provide for farmers and food pantries based in northwest Michigan including Grand Traverse, Emmet, Leelanau, Charlevoix, Kalkaska, Antrim, Wexford and Benzie counties. 

“We’re helping the farmers have guaranteed revenue so they can continue to grow their business and keep it afloat during this uncertain time,” McDermott said. “But, also to make sure that those pantries shelves are stocked.”

She said one-hundred percent of the funds are being donated to partner food pantries, from there the pantries will reach out to farmers to discuss sales. 

McDermott said the goal is to expand the food relief fund to help other communities. 

The fundraising goal has been doubled after raising $50,000 last week. The original goal was $30,000. 

Tess DeGayner is a student reporter for WCMU News. She is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Journalism and Broadcasting. Her hometown is Fenton, Michigan.