Food pantry seeks additional sponsors for annual Golf Outing
TAYLOR – Fish & Loaves, the largest client-choice food pantry in the state, announced today it is making permanent a Saturday program that began during last year’s pandemic. Fresh Market provides perishable items on Saturday morning to walk-in neighbors without an appointment.
To help support the increased services, the pantry is seeking additional sponsors for its upcoming 13th annual golf outing. “Par for the Course” is set for Sept. 18 at Taylor Meadows Golf Club, 25360 Ecorse Road.
Golfers can register online at www.flcfp.org or call Fish & Loaves at 734-992-6284. The outing is a four-person scramble that begins with an 8 a.m. registration and continental breakfast, followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
“This is a true community effort,” said Mary Hollens, Fish & Loaves executive director. “We have been blessed to receive the support of some great sponsors.”
Additionally, the Charles F. Vella Memorial Scholarship was created to support Fish & Loaves in memory of Charlie Vella, an advocate of the underserved and community leader who was among the founders of Fish & Loaves.
“The scholarship celebrates a man we all knew and loved,” said the Rev. Geoff Drutchas, president of the Fish & Loaves Board of Directors. “The generosity of the Vella family gives us important ongoing support and a way to honor our friend and brother Charlie Vella.”
Fresh Market serves an average of 250 families each Saturday, providing fresh produce, milk, bread and eggs. While initially expected to be temporary, Fresh Market’s popularity continues to grow, Hollens said.
“We saw food insecurity rise during the pandemic,” Hollens said. “And it continues to go up. Last month alone, the number of people coming to the food pantry increased by 16 percent. In the past year, 600 children under 18 received their food at Fish and Loaves.”
“This year’s golf outing is especially important as we look forward to seeing our old friends and welcome new ones,” said Susan Vokal, Fish & Loaves board vice president. “The golf outing supplies a big portion of the dollars that allow us to keep serving those in need in our communities.”
Fish & Loaves serves more than 1.6 million pounds of food per year to residents in seven communities in Wayne County, where the poverty rate is 17 percent, compared with that of Michigan at 13 percent. Twenty-six percent of Wayne County’s children live in poverty compared with 13 percent in the state, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.