HERSEY — Robin Marvel grew up without enough to eat, often with her stomach rumbling as she tried to sleep. Now, as an adult, she's trying to make a difference for others going through similar situations.

Marvel, an author and motivational speaker from Hersey, is the organizer of the Mecosta-Osceola Food Drive Carnival, which is in its sixth year helping people in need through area food pantries. This year's event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, at Mosaic Park, and Marvel seeks to collect as many donations as possible.

"This cause is super dear to my heart," Marvel said. "I want to do something to give back, so I started the food drive."

The event will feature activities for children, including carnival-style games, a temporary tattoo booth, crafts, a bounce house and face painting. Refreshments will be available and families will be able to view a selection of classic cars during a mini car show hosted by members of the Evart Car Club.

In addition, live music by Midwest Skies, a Grand Rapids-based punk rock band, will take place for all to enjoy.

The activities are free with a monetary or non-perishable food item donation.

With so many people in need in both communities, the time to make a difference is now, Marvel said.

"The goal of the event is to help fill our food pantries," she added. "It is taking action to help instead of just talking about it. We have the opportunity to help lighten the load for others and that is what life is all about — using what we have to help others."

The collected food items will be donated to Osceola and Mecosta County food pantries, including the Sears Food Pantry, Reed City Food Pantry, Manna Pantry and Our Brothers Keeper.

Last year, the drive collected more than $1,500 in food donations. Marvel's goal this year is to exceed that amount. The event previously took place in the fall, but she moved it to the spring because she believes it is a great time to fill the pantries in preparation for the dismissal of school for the summer. She also hopes hosting it in the springtime will boost attendance.

"I just want to do something fun for people, and I know what it's like to go to bed hungry, so I wanted to host this event so that doesn't happen to other kids," Marvel added. "We want to fill truckloads with non-perishable items for those in need while providing some fun activities for those who attend."

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