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Mobile food pantry continues to help Flint residents reduce effects of lead exposure

Nov 3, 2016

Many kids in Flint were exposed to elevated levels of lead in their drinking water during the water crisis. One way people are helping to curb the effects of lead exposure is by providing healthy food options to the community.

It's being done, in part, through a mobile food pantry created via Flint's Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

"So far Flint residents have received more than 2 million pounds of food through these mobile food pantries," says MDHHS Communications Manager and Public Information Officer Bob Wheaton.

The food pantry provides foods including tuna, baked beans, potatoes, cereal, apples, peppers, and tomatoes to Flint residents. These foods are offered because they contain iron, calcium and vitamin C.

More from the MDHHS:

Iron helps to protect the body from the harmful effects of lead. Calcium reduces lead absorption and helps make teeth and bones strong. Vitamin C helps prevent lead from being absorbed," reads the MDHHS website. 

Here are details for upcoming mobile food pantries in Flint this month: 

  • Monday, Nov. 7, at 10:30 a.m. – Calvary United Methodist Church, 2111 Flushing Road.
  • Friday, Nov. 11, at noon – Richfield Academy, 3807 N. Center Road.
  • Saturday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. – Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m. – Hispanic Tech Center, 2101 Lewis St.
  • Thursday, Nov. 17, at 10 a.m. – Asbury United Methodist Church, 1653 Davison Road.
  • Friday, Nov. 18, at noon – St. Luke New Life Center, 3115 Lawndale St.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19, at 10 a.m. – Flint Muslim Food Pantry, 4400 S. Saginaw St.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22, at noon – St. Michael Catholic Church, 609 E. Fifth Ave.
  • Saturday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m. – Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.
  • Monday, Nov. 28, at noon – Church Without Walls, 6202 Dupont St.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m. – North End Soup Kitchen, 735 E. Stewart Ave.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m. – Hispanic Tech Center, 2101 Lewis St.

Wheaton says the program feeds an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 Flint families every month, though this estimate double counts anyone who attends multiple food pantries in one month. 

The program is funded by the state's $28 million emergency fund for services in Flint.

The emergency food program began in February, and Wheaton says it's planned to run through next fall.

This food pantry isn't the only program aiming to help Flint residents get healthy food. Double UP -- a program helping recipients of federal food assistance or food stamps in Michigan -- has also been helping to distribute food in Flint.