Secretary of State Ruth Johnson kicks off annual autumn food drive

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014Harvest Gathering Logo

Customers can drop off donations at their local Secretary of State branch office

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today encouraged people across the state to be a part of the 24th Annual Michigan Harvest Gathering food drive this year.

Johnson and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette promoted the campaign from the steps of the State Capitol. Schuette and his wife co-founded the annual effort in 1991.

Johnson praised Secretary of State staff for making the food drive so successful every year.

“We have families in this state who need help and our employees are working hard to help them by collecting non-perishable food items and donations,” Johnson said. “And Michiganians, who are caring and generous, always respond. It’s no surprise that the people of this state will help when they can.”

In the last four years alone, more than 26 tons of food donations have been collected at Secretary of State branch offices during the Harvest Gathering campaign, which runs through Nov. 26 this year.

In Michigan, 17 percent of households struggle to put food on the table, according to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

During the announcement, Johnson was joined by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Deputy Director Gordon Wenk, the Michigan Health and Hospital Association Executive Vice President David Seaman, Food Bank Council of Michigan Board Chair Kenneth Estelle and Walmart West Lansing Store Manager Dawn Nolan.

The campaign is coordinated by the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which supplies the state’s regional food banks through donations of food and money. The regional food banks serve food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in every Michigan county.

“By partnering with Secretary of State branches, the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign is able to extend its statewide impact. Food Bank Council of Michigan is truly grateful for the continued support and our Secretary of State’s commitment to ending hunger,” said Cathy Adcock, Interim Executive Director at Food Bank Council of Michigan.

The overall 2014 goal is 300,000 pounds of food and $350,000, enough for two million meals. In 2013, Michigan Harvest Gathering collected more than 359,000 pounds of food and $445,000.

Nonperishable food items, with a valid expiration date, can be dropped off at any Secretary of State office.

Food items especially needed include: canned meats, dry beans, soups, beef stew, pasta products, peanut butter and tuna. Other items include baby food or formula, diapers, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The Food Bank requests donors avoid items in glass, as they often break in transit. Financial donations may be made online at


For media questions, please call Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at 517-373-2520.


Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak

to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).