Women's committee hosts food drive to keep shelves stocked

EVART — Employees at Ventra in Evart proved what can happen when hundreds come together for a common goal.

Two pick-up truck loads heaped with food and other items were filled by company workers during a drive hosted by a number of ladies who are part of a women's committee of United Auto Workers Local 2270. The food drive lasted for two weeks.

Heidi Pontius, the chairperson for the women's committee, noticed a post on the Sears Food Pantry Facebook page stating it was getting low on items. She decided to spread the idea of a drive to committee members, who jumped on the chance to challenge Ventra employees.

"Our members of the union just came together," Pontius said. "They pitched right in, took it seriously and we ended up taking two trucks out. We are proud of everyone."

To help fuel the drive, members of the committee scoured Evart seeking donations from businesses and individuals for raffle prizes. For every food item brought in, donors would receive a raffle ticket for one of 50 prizes. In addition, monetary donations totaled $900 for food purchases.

According to Sears Food Pantry Facilitator Ken Phillips, the pantry serves on average about 15 people each Tuesday or 780 people every year. He tries to keep a hefty supply of items because donations do not come regularly. When he saw the trucks filled with food, he was thrilled.

"We were grateful," Phillips said. "The ladies went way out of their way to do this. It's really helped stack the pantry shelves."

The support from Ventra employees showed him he can be proud of the area in which he lives.

"It reaffirms my belief in the Evart community," Phillips added. "These people do truly care about each other and help each other out."

The food drive gave the committee members a boost of morale and the committee hopes to host the event again the same time next year.

"It felt rewarding," Pontius said. "We've always believed in paying it forward and it felt really awesome."

To make a donation to the Sears Food Pantry or for more information about receiving assistance, call Ken Phillips at (231) 620-2504 or find it on Facebook.