Annual food drive carnival to benefit Mecosta, Osceola pantries

HERSEY — The upcoming annual Mecosta-Osceola Food Drive Carnival aims to provide even more fun for attendees this year and even more food for area pantries.

The food drive carnival will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, at Mosiac Park in Hersey. The zootopia-themed event will feature kids’ games and prizes, refreshments, face painting and a car show. Author K.B. Carr will bring exotic animals and there will be an animal presentation at noon by John Ball Zoo.

Cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones and a bounce house will be provided and sponsored by Charity Baptist Church.

“This is the seventh year for the event,” said Robin Marvel, event creator and organizer. “I started this because I wanted to give something back. As a kid, I relied on food pantries, which my parents used to make ends meet. This food drive is a way for the community to get involved. It’s always been super successful.”

Attendees can enjoy the festivities at no cost with a donation of non-perishable food or other items, such as toilet paper.

The collected food items will be donated to Osceola and Mecosta County food pantries, including the Sears Food Pantry, Manna Pantry and Project Starburst.

“I take the donations to all the different food pantries in the area,” Marvel said. “I’ll also distribute the food to local families who reach out to me if they can’t make it to the food pantries.”

Marvel believes now is the perfect time to stock up area pantries.

“Summer is a time of need for many area families who depend on the free and reduced-price meals provided at school,” she said.

Marvel is hoping for a large turnout this year. Her ultimate goal is to one day need a semi-truck to haul all the donations gathered at the annual drive.

“I encourage people to come out and help one another in a huge way and have fun while doing it,” Marvel said. “Nobody should go to bed hungry. I know what that’s like and it’s really powerful to me that we as a community can give back.”

For more information or to make a donation, call Robin Marvel at (989) 544-1186.