Lakeshore Food Club temporarily closes due to low inventory

August 2, 2023

Lakeshore Food Club temporarily closes due to low inventory

LUDINGTON — The Lakeshore Food Club, 920 E. Tinkham Ave., closed today, Wednesday, Aug. 2 and will remain closed until Friday, Aug. 4 when it receives more inventory.

The decision came after two days of an unprecedented number of members shopping, according to O’Nealya Gronstal, executive director.

“We simply do not have enough food in our building to fulfill our mission of providing dignified access to fresh, healthy foods,” Gronstal said. “Our membership has grown to over 1,900 local households. We serve more than 100 families per day. Some of our members shop once a day (especially those experiencing homelessness), some shop once a week, and many, due to transportation challenges or other barriers shop with us once a month. The once-a-month orders are usually very large, and understandably so.”

The number of families that shopped at the Lakeshore Food Club since Monday, July 31, is 238. Throughout the month of July, more than 2,000 transactions went through the cash register with more than 35,000 food items chosen, Gronstal said.

“This data shows the incredible need and struggle our neighbors are having. We have been in the storm of the century for the last 18 months. So many factors are to blame. Reduction in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, the number of senior citizens struggling to make ends meet. The list is long and complicated. As much as I would like to solve the root causes, my calling is to provide healthy food and that’s what we are going to concentrate on,” said Gronstal.

Nearly 50% of the Food Club membership works full time and more than 50% is over the age of 60. Gronstal is urging the community to help.

Donations of produce from local gardens and organized food drives for canned goods, cereal, hygiene, and paper products are just a few ideas of how the community can help. Donated items must be new, in date (not expired), and have the original manufacturer’s label intact.

Monetary donations can be given online at www.lakeshorefoodclub.org or mailed to Lakeshore Food Club, 920 E Tinkham Ave., Ludington, MI 49431.

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