Application Process Underway for 3rd Annual Holiday Food Sharing Program

A heartwarming tradition will continue next month when Whirlpool Corporation and the PGA of America team up with the City of Benton Harbor and the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency for their 3rd Annual Holiday Food Sharing Program in Benton Harbor.

As the chill of winter hits southwest Michigan, warmth and generosity is pouring in for local residents in need this holiday season from those wonderful folks who have turned the annual distribution day into a thing of joy not only for the recipients, but for the team that delivers that day as well.

The Holiday Food Sharing Program collects and distributes 400 turkeys and food boxes to local area residents and families in need of assistance from Benton Harbor, Benton Charter Township, St. Joseph, St. Joseph Township and other Berrien County Communities.

Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad says, “It is the season for giving and we are proud to continue our partnership with the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency to lend a hand in a time of need by providing meals for our neighbors and friends.” The Mayor adds, “Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors, we are fortunate to expand the Holiday Food Sharing Program this year to reach families and residents across all communities this year.”

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All interested residents must apply for the Holiday Food Sharing Program in order to be considered. Registration began this week on Monday, Nov. 27 and runs through Monday, Dec. 18 at 4:30pm. Applications are available at the following locations:

  • Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency: 185 East Main St, S303, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • United Way: 2015 Lakeview Ave, Saint Joseph, MI 49085
  • The Department of Health and Human Services: 401 8th St, Benton Harbor, MI. 49023
  • Benton Harbor City Hall: 200 E. Wall St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • St. Joseph Township: 3000 Washington Ave. St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • Benton Charter Township: 1725 Territorial Rd Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • Region 4 Area Agency on Aging: 2900 Lakeview Ave. St. Joseph, MI 49085
  • Michigan Works: 401 8th St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • The Emergency Shelter Services: 645 Pipestone St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • The Salvation Army: 233 Michigan St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Distribution of the turkeys and food boxes will occur on Thursday, December 21st and all applications need to be turned in at the SMCAA office to receive immediate notification and pick-up instructions.  All others will be notified by mail.

Jeff Noel, who serves as Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs at Whirlpool Corporation, calls the Holiday Food Sharing Program “A small way to show support for our neighbors and inspire a chain of giving across our local communities.” Noel adds, “Since the program’s founding in 2015, the SMCAA has helped more than 900 families in and around Benton Harbor and St. Joseph.”

As Championship Director for the 2018 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Ryan Ogle says, “The community has embraced the PGA of America and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship since 2012 and Benton Harbor has become our home.” As a result, Ogle says, “It is a privilege to give back in a neighborly way and bring some holiday cheer to our community.”

For further information about the Holiday Sharing Program, you can visit www.smcaa.com or call (269)925-9077. For more information about the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, visit www.smcaa.com or call (269)925-9077.

For more information about the Whirlpool Corporation, visit www.whirlpoolcorp.com.

For more information about the PGA of America, visit www.PGA.org.

The Southwest Community Action Agency (SMCAA) exists to assist people in economic need and enable them to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency while respecting their diversity. In order to accomplish the mission, they establish, coordinate and carry out programs to promote the health, education and welfare of Michigan residents with particular emphasis on low-income residents of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties. These programs include, but are not limited to; the provision and repair of affordable meals and food substances for persons qualifying for assistance in their homes or gathering places, and other educational programs and any other activity designed to provide for the well-being, education and self-sufficiency of the population. Operating programs requires the team to apply for, receive, administer and disburse federal, state, local and private funds, as well as form partnerships with the government and private entities sharing their stated purpose.