FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – A food pantry in Farmington Hills is helping battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) by supporting residents who have been hit hard financially.
CARES Food Pantry has stepped up to provide free food to people in the community.
“We’ve been coming for over a year,” CARES client Michele Austin said.
Austin and her wife are raising 15 children -- both biological and adopted. Unemployment and disability have led them to CARES for help.
“It’s hard to ask for help,” Austin said. “We need to feed our family.”
CARES stands for Community Action Resource Empowerment Services. It has been around since 2017 and typically sees about 650 families per month. That number has increase dramatically during the pandemic, though.
“We hate to see this,” CARES Executive Director Todd Lipa said. We had to. There are answers."
In addition to the food pantry, CARES is planning to open a SNAP Bridge store so clients with bridge cards can shop for other essential items. Some people depend on the nonprofit, such as Lawauna Draggs, who is in medical school full time with two children at home.
“Usually I come once a month,” Draggs said.
CARES depends on the community to help get items such as a commercial refrigerator to store perishable foods, shelving for non-perishables and more. The organization is working to meet the community’s increasing needs.
CARES officials said this is a community effort.