2018-06-13 / News

Stone Soup ends direct service, focuses on deliveries to pantries

810-452-2616 • pfoley @mihomepaper.com

Stone Soup’s sign is down at its South Court Street headquarters, but the non-profit says it’s not going anywhere. 
Photo by Phil Foley Stone Soup’s sign is down at its South Court Street headquarters, but the non-profit says it’s not going anywhere. Photo by Phil Foley LAPEER — The sign is down in front of the Stone Soup Food Bank building in Lapeer, but the nine-year-old non-profit is not out. It’s shifting its focus.

Starting Friday (June 15) Stone Soup will no longer offer its Client Choice Pantry program, which allows individuals to pick up food at its 7,200-square-foot S. Court Street location in Lapeer.

Mary Anne MacLeod, Stone Soup’s business development director, said the Food Bank’s client list has grown from 34 in a third quarter of last year to 60 churches, non-profits and other small food pantries in the Thumb. She said half of them are located in Lapeer County.

A windstorm last month blew down Stone Soup’s sign, leading some to speculate the non-profit was moving or closing. MacLeod said neither is the case.

MacLeod said the growing number of food deliveries and pantry clubs has created a conflict with the Client Choice Pantry program. The program, which has done direct distributions from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, has required the volunteer staff to rearrange the warehouse floor space three times a week and sometimes not accept a delivery. “Tuesdays are just crazy,” she said.

She noted Stone Soup moves about 15,000 pounds of vegetables and 20,000 pounds of bread weekly.

“It was a very hard decision,” MacLeod said, noting the board “has been talking about it for several months.” She said Stone Soup began notifying clients, who are allowed to pick up food at the pantry monthly, in May and provided them with lists of food pantries operating in the county.

She said none of the 350 families, which included about 400 children, serviced directly by Stone Soup monthly will go hungry. MacLeod said Stone Soup provides food to the food pantry at Mott Community College, a food pantry run by special needs students at the ISD, Attica Methodist Church, LACADA, Manna Ministries, Grace Episcopal and many others.

MacLeod said the change will allow Stone Soup to bring in more food and get it to its client food pantries faster.

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