Festival collects food for pantries

SACK RACE: A group of children participate in a sack race during the third annual Hersey Harvest Food Drive Festival on Saturday at Mosaic Park in Hersey. Organizers estimate about $1,500 worth of nonperishable food items were collected for Reed City Ministerial Association Food Pantry, Project Starburst and the WISE Shelter. (Pioneer photos/Jonathan Eppley)

Third annual Hersey Harvest Food Drive Festival collects about $1,500 worth of nonperishable items

HERSEY — Three years ago, Robin Marvel started collecting nonperishable food items for local food pantries.

Having been a recipient of food pantry items in the past, Marvel founded the Hersey Harvest Food Drive Festival as a way to give back to organizations that help those in need. She heard that local pantries were struggling and wanted to help stock their shelves.

“When I was young, my parents struggled a lot financially, and they would use the local food pantry to supplement our food,” Marvel said. “The harvest fest is to help fill the food pantries before the winter months, because it’s something that’s so needed. I don’t think anyone should go to bed hungry. I thought this was the best way to give back.”

The third annual Hersey Harvest Food Drive Festival was held on Saturday at Mosaic Park in Hersey. More than $1,500 worth of food was collected for local food pantries in Mecosta and Osceola counties.

Event sponsors and supporters included Jack Donley Farms, Bernie’s Place, Mosaic, Walmart, Hersey Party Store, Vic’s Market and Moose Lodge of Reed City. About 13 volunteers helped with the festival.

Attendees were asked to bring nonperishable food donations to the event to help feed local families. Donations will be shared with the Reed City Ministerial Association Food Pantry, Project Starburst and the WISE Shelter.

KID’S GAMES: Chloe Tyler, 3, plays a game during the third annual Hersey Harvest Food Drive Festival on Saturday at Mosaic Park.

“This has grown every year in terms of the number of people who have come out to support the food pantries. The first year we had about 50 people, last year we had about 100 and this year I’m hoping we have more than that,” Marvel said. “It’s all about getting the food and donating to the pantries. … It’s also about people in the community not having to worry about where their food comes from.”

Cami Tyler attended the festival with her daughter, Chloe, 3, and nieces, Lilly Dow, 9, and Alissa Dow, 7. She is a friend of Marvel and is impressed by the amount of hard work put into the event.

“Robin works hard to put this on every year. I love this event,” Tyler said. “It’s great because the kids are free to run around and have a ball. It’s amazing the amount of food collected for local food pantries.”

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Posted by Jonathan Eppley

Jonathan Eppley is news editor for the Pioneer. He designs and copy edits the Pioneer daily, and manages staff in the evening. Eppley joined the Pioneer staff in 2010. He can be reached at (231) 592-8357 or at jeppley@pioneergroup.com.

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