ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) – USW Local 21 Women of Steel is “Strike for Hunger” to fill food pantries at the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul in Delta County .
Women of Steel chairwoman Donna Dams said this is one picket line she wants people to cross.
“This is the only picket line we want Local 21 to cross,” Dams said. “This is a path that anyone can cross because it is for people in need.”
The Hunger Strike began nine years ago. This is her fourth year that Women of Steel has hosted this event.
Dams said there are several ways people can donate.
“You can buy it in-store, too. They can buy a bag and it’s given to them as a credit,” Dams said. “People can also bring in items or donations from home as long as they are of the correct date.”
Mike Dagenais, co-owner of Elmer’s, said they offer food bags at different dollar levels to fit everyone’s budget.
“We sell these bags for $5, $10 or $20,” Dagenai said. “Then we put it in an account with the Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul and they can get what they need.”
Dagenai said she used to fill bags with canned food. They decided to switch their bag purchases to direct donations to the store’s food pantry account.
“That way they can get what they need,” Dagenai said.
He said Elmer’s customers are making a difference.
“Our customers are so great,” he said. “I would like to sincerely thank them.”
Dams said this is typically Local 21’s largest fundraiser, and the rewards of hosting it for Women of Steel are immeasurable.
“When you hear someone say they used to have to use this before in their life and now they’re giving back, that’s pretty cool,” Dams said. “I think it’s really amazing.”
Last year, Women of Steel raised more than $11,000. They are hoping for a new record this year.
The food drive will continue through Saturday at Elmer’s County Market in Escanaba and Pat Foods in Gladstone.
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