Feed a Neighbor effort collects 4 tons of food

ISHPEMING – The Wesley United Methodist Church in Ishpeming collected more than 8,000 pounds of food during its fourth annual Feed a Neighbor campaign, and more is still coming in.

Last Saturday, more than 300 volunteers went around Ishpeming, Negaunee, Republic, Champion and Michigamme picking up bags of food that were left outside by residents. About 100 bags were collected in the Republic, Michigamme and Champion areas alone, organizer Dick Derby said.

This year the program expanded into Negaunee, Champion, Republic and Michigamme for the first time. Also for the first time, the Mitchell United Methodist Church in Negaunee and the Pioneer Kiwanis of Ishpeming joined in on helping out the program.

“I’m so happy the expansion of the program resulted in a significant improvement of collection,” Derby said.

Bags were handed out by volunteers April 20 with instructions for residents on them. Volunteers picked up the ones that were left out. These food items helped fill the food pantries at Ishpeming Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul, the Negaunee St. Vincent de Paul and the Republic St. Vincent de Paul. Food stayed in the city that it was collected in.

“The shelves in Negaunee were bare and now they are full,” Derby said. “Hopefully, this will get them into the fall.”

The program is planned deliberately for this season when it’s known the pantries are low after the winter holiday seasons. Last year, Feed a Neighbor collected more than 6,000 pounds of donations.

“It’s never too late to donate to the program,” Derby said. “If you were out of town or just forgot to put out a bag, you can always still drop one off.”

Bags can be dropped off at the Ishpeming Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul, the Negaunee St. Vincent de Paul or the Republic St. Vincent de Paul, as well as Wesley United Methodist Church and Mitchell United Methodist Church.

For more information on how to still donate, call Wesley United Methodist Church at 486-4681.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is