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Giving Thanks for Food Banks

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 24, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. SLOTKIN. Madam Speaker, I rise today, like so many of my colleagues this week, to give thanks.

As winter approaches, coronavirus cases are skyrocketing. Hospitals are at or near capacity, and more than 250,000 Americans have died. Thanksgiving this year looks different; it's smaller or even virtual, as folks heed public health guidance to stay home and prevent the spread.

In the midst of this pandemic, families across the country and across Michigan are hurting--and to meet their needs, our local organizations are stepping up. Today, I rise to honor and express gratitude for the invaluable service these organizations provide to our community.

In Ingham County, the Holt Community Food Bank has been giving back for more than 20 years. What began as a repository of a few bags of non-perishable food ``just in case'' someone needed help has grown into an operation that serves more than 150 families each month.

In Livingston County, Torch 180 purchased the old Fowlerville library in order to turn it into Michigan's first restaurant and coffee shop staffed entirely by adults with disabilities. When COVID hit, they quickly shifted gears--using the space to serve meals and distribute groceries to anyone in need.

When a woman on Supplemental Security Income called my office in a panic because she hadn't received her stimulus check, Torch 180 brought her a week's worth of groceries. They made sure she was okay, and then came back to the motel where she was staying to provide meals for other residents as well.

And in Oakland County, the Rochester Area Neighborhood House offers wrap-around services for those who are struggling with housing, transportation, employment and more. Its food pantry has given out more than 125,000 meals to area residents since the pandemic started and it shows no signs of stopping.

These are just a few of the unsung heroes in our district, exhibiting extraordinary kindness and dedication to supporting their fellow Americans in a time of great need.

To the individuals who work tirelessly every day to serve others, may you know that this Thanksgiving, a grateful nation is thinking of you.