Christian Help Center food pantry serving more people as new year begins
Tue, 01/10/2023 - 3:07pm caleb
Officials report spike in numbers during November and December of 2022
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Crawford County Community Christian Help Center ended a busy 2022 by serving high numbers of people and helping area children have a better Christmas through the Toys For Tots program.
Nancy Goodyear, Christian Help Center Director, said the November and December numbers of people using the food pantry services were the highest she has seen during her time there.
“We’ve definitely been seeing more people,” Goodyear said.
The Christian Help Center served as a host site for local Toys For Tots volunteer efforts.
“That went fabulous. It went amazing,” Goodyear said.
Goodyear said the local Toys For Tots effort provided items to more than 400 children. The endeavor included having drop boxes in several places in town so people could donate toys for the program.
“We got a lot of support from the community,” Goodyear said.
Earlier in the year the Christian Help Center held a tree planting memorial ceremony in honor of its former director, Cynthia Hummel. Also, during the same time, a barn quilt from Diane Ewald of Grayling – an intended gift for Hummel – was added to the side of the building. (Hummel retired from her position as director of the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center in October of 2020 and she passed away in May of 2021 at the age of 69.)
“That sign really makes it stand out. It’s really nice,” Goodyear said.
Goodyear said the Christian Help Center received several grants during the year 2022, including one from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to help with work on the facility’s deck and door. Other grant sources included Weyerhaeuser, United Way, the Dairy Council of Michigan, and the Great Lakes Energy People Fund.
“We’ve gotten a lot of grants this year,” Goodyear said.
Goodyear said individuals donated more than $45,000 to the Christian Help Center Food Pantry last year.
“That is huge,” Goodyear said.
Goodyear said the donations help the center to purchase items from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan at a low cost, and they also assist with paying for mobile food trucks during the summer.
According to Goodyear, businesses donated more than $5,000 and churches donated approximately $12,000 last year.
A Family Fare round-up for hunger event in October helped raise approximately $2,400, Goodyear said.
Goodyear said the center has been distributing items to more people as costs for food and other essentials rise.
“I know we’re serving a lot more people,” Goodyear said.
Goodyear said the Christian Help Center was serving an average of 150 households per month but the number jumped to 277 in November of 2022 and 257 in December of 2022.
“Our numbers are definitely increasing,” Goodyear said.
To get food from the Christian Help Center the only requirement is Crawford County residency.
Goodyear said the community’s help has been vital to the food pantry efforts.
“A huge thank you to our community. They really support us. We’ve gotten a lot of donations of food and personal items. The community has been tremendous in helping us,” Goodyear said.
People can help the Crawford County Community Christian Help Center (300 Huron Street) by donating money or nonperishable food items during open hours (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). People can also mail monetary donations to PO Box 1115, Grayling, MI, 49738.