GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - The Ending Hunger Alliance of Marquette is helping out a handful of families in Gwinn this Christmas.
In 2015, the Ending Hunger Alliance of Marquette (EHAM) was developed to support organizations that help end child hunger and homelessness. "We saw a lot of organizations helping kids, but there were a lot of holes and so we just started to fill the gaps," says Theresa Sell, Founder and Volunteer of EHAM.
For the fourth time, EHAM is helping Gwinn area school families keep their children's bellies full over a school break. "It's always a lot of work and always scary to see that it works out well, but each family will get enough food for every individual in their household to have 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinner and 20 snacks," says Sell. So Thursday, 43 families of 208 individuals took home 11,000 items for the Christmas break, thanks to EHAM and the generosity of a number of community members and organizations.
"We didn't expect it last year and when it happened it was like 'Oh my God.' I was in tears, I was in tears because I didn't expect so much. I mean it's SO MUCH," says Eliza Obrien, a food recipient and student teacher at K.I. Sawyer Elementary School.
"It's a big relief - it is. Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year. When you try your best, not only to feed your kids but you want them to have a good Christmas, so getting help with food helps maybe give you a little bit more money or other things in other places," describes Jennie Shaull, a food recipient and volunteer for this Christmas food pickup.
Jennie Shaull has received food for the last three breaks, and has volunteered the last two as a thank you. "They've given me so much, and this is the one way I can give back. If I don't have the money to donate to other people, I can come in and help out. This year I didn't even realize I was a recipient, I just came in to help out," she explains.
EHAM hopes these food projects before school breaks is only the beginning. The Ending Hunger Food Alliance hopes that it will be able to send children home with a backpack full of food each weekend in the near future.