Secretary of State offices once again host Harvest Gathering food collection sites

Michigan Harvest Gathering SEPTEMBER 27, 2017

Statewide giving effort starts today at all offices

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today encouraged residents to donate nonperishable food at Secretary of State offices statewide as part of the 27th Annual Michigan Harvest Gathering food drive.

“Every year, I am moved by how many people donate generously to Harvest Gathering and how much our staff has embraced this important effort,” Johnson said. “We see it every fall in every office across the state when we open our doors to collect food. Michigan residents dropped off 11 tons of food last year at our offices. I encourage people to again share what they can.”

Since 2011, Secretary of State offices have collected almost 30 tons of food donations. The Secretary of State portion of the Harvest Gathering campaign, which was created in 1991 by Attorney General Bill Schuette and his wife, Cynthia, runs through Nov. 22.

“It is our collective vision to end food insecurity in Michigan,” said Dr. Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “Until that time comes, the annual Harvest Gathering raises critical funds and public awareness of the thousands who go hungry every day. Hunger is not smarter or stronger than us, and we will work relentlessly to end food insecurity in Michigan.”

In Michigan, 16 percent of households struggle to put food on the table and 21 percent of children don’t know where their next meal will come from, according to the Food Bank Council of Michigan. The organization coordinates the program, 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.

In 2016, the entire Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign collected 413,000 pounds of food and more than $305,000.

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 Fred Woodhams 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).