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Macomb County food pantries say demand at all-time high

Warren food pantry aims to feed 450 families
Warren food pantry aims to feed 450 families 02:02

WARREN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - Hundreds of vehicles lined the Warren Woods Public Schools District parking lot on Monday, where the Warren Woods Mobile Food Pantry hosts their bi-weekly food giveaway.

"No one should have to struggle or cut things out of their budget just to put food on the table," said Fred Huebener, who started the pickups in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began and the world shut down.

Huebener says he did it with the help of Warren Woods Public Schools and Gleaners Food Bank.

He says the demand for food assistance has gone up since spring 2023, back to the way it was during those beginning months. It's something he's worked to combat to the best of his ability so families don't have to worry about feeding their kids or loved ones.

"We don't want our seniors., we don't want first-generation immigrants, we don't want any of our children to be going without food basics, and that's what we're here to do is make sure we're freeing up money in their budget to be able to pay rent, pay the water bill, pay the electricity bill," Huebener says.

The demand for food reaches not just Warren but much of the south side of Macomb County.

"In our 32 years as a church, we've never seen a need greater than what it is right now," says Pastor Curtiss Ostosh of Harvest Time Christian Fellowship.

Just three miles down the road from where the Warren Woods Mobile Food Pantry takes place, Pastor Curtiss Ostosh of Harvest Time Christian Fellowship Church says they see nearly 6,000 people a month come through their doors during their community food giveaways which take place twice a week. 

"The most expensive vehicle for people is a shopping cart. You know, the 6000 people we serve, that's not the totality of it. There's many other food pantries in Macomb County; we're just one of them," says Ostosh.

Ostosh adds that he's fortunate to have a good working relationship with organizations like the Salvation Army, Gleaners, and more to meet the demand.

Additional dates for the Warren Woods Mobile Food Pantry can be found on the pantry's Facebook page.

Additional information on food giveaways from Harvest Time Christian Fellowship can be found on its social media page.

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