Two neighboring Ross Medical Education Center campuses partnered together again this spring for the annual Ross Education Food Drive. The Ross campus in New Baltimore, Michigan and the Ross campus in Port Huron, Michigan teamed up for a second consecutive year to support the Blue Water Community Food Depot, located in Port Huron. The Food Depot has been servicing St. Clair County for 35 years, and was originally called The Rice Bowl. This wonderful organization has been at their current location in the heart of the city of Port Huron for the past six years. The Food Depot is managed by St. Vincent De Paul, and is the only organization of its kind in St. Clair County that is fully run and staffed by volunteers.
To become a recipient of the Food Depot’s resources, a client must receive a voucher from a local church or social service organization. Originally, the Food Depot tried to keep toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper goods and diapers on hand along with non-perishable food items. However, due to a growing need, they have shifted their focus to keeping families fed and nourished. Along with non-perishable items, they now stock bread, meat, milk, eggs and cheese. Families are eligible to receive goods from the Food Depot once every 90 days, or four times per year.
To keep their shelves stocked, the Food Depot depends on donations from food drives sponsored by different organizations such as the U.S. Postal Service, local hospitals, companies and schools, including Ross Medical Education. Monetary contributions and grants are used to supplement their supplies through the Eastern Michigan Food Bank.
According to Blue Water Community Food Depot volunteer, there is a definite and ever increasing need in St. Clair County. The Blue Water Community Food Depot dispenses approximately a quarter of a million pounds of food each year to over 4,400 families. The volunteers at the Food Depot enjoy getting to know repeat clients and realizing that they’re making a very real difference in so many lives. There are also those families that come in just once; things are tight for various reasons and they just need a little boost to help them along. The Blue Water Food Depot is there to lend a hand.
The combined efforts of the New Baltimore and Port Huron campuses led to a successful collection of nearly five hundred non-perishable items being collected and donated to the Blue Water Community Food Depot. Lindsay Wallace, Financial Aid Student Support Representative from the New Baltimore campus, shared her passion for this annual event, “there are many families who benefit from the annual food drive. It is important to me that I always participate and help as much as I can, as you never know when you might be the one in need.”
For more information about the Blue Water Food Depot, contact them at (810) 987-7886.