By Mike Kruzman /

The Livingston County Hunger Council has released an impact report on the food needs of area-residents during the pandemic.

The Livingston County Hunger Council is a collaborative body made up of government agencies, non-profits, local businesses and private citizens. Their mission is to end hunger and ensure all people in the community have access to nutritious food when they need it- something that has been put to the test during the pandemic. Amy Johnston from Community Mental Health is the Community Collaborative Planner for the Human Services Collaborative Body. She said that when COVID-19 hit, everybody came together quickly to discuss a plan and response to help ensure that people had the nutritious food they need, when they needed it.

The Hunger Council this week released their COVID-19 Impact Report. The report shows that from March through May of this year, participating agencies served nearly 190,000 more pounds of food, and served over 160,000 additional meals compared to the same 3-month period last year.

When schools were shut down and the National School Lunch Program, which provides free and reduced meals to students was interrupted, Hunger Council agencies were there. Johnston said the Salvation Army really supported Howell, Torch 180 was out in Fowlerville, several pantry networks helped Brighton, and Gleaner’s helped everyone. She credited Meals on Wheels for stepping up to the increased need of senior citizens and homebound residents, as well.

Johnston noted, though, that the work isn’t done yet. Even with sectors of the economy re-opening, people have lost jobs and face uncertainty. Johnston said that taking advantage of food opportunities from places like Gleaner’s or the Salvation Army could help a family more easily make a rent, house, or utility payment. She encourages anyone who could use a little help to seek out the Hunger Council and their partner agencies. “The Hunger Council’s work is impressive and a great illustration of the collaborative efforts by our local agencies. I would like to thank all the agencies for the work they have done to keep our community fed!”

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A copy of the Impact Report can be found below.