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MICHIGAN HARVEST GATHERING CALLED A SUCCESS; HUNDREDS HONOR DONORS

    MICHIGAN HARVEST GATHERING CALLED A SUCCESS; HUNDREDS HONOR DONORS
    DETROIT, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- It was truly a thanksgiving. Hundreds of Michigan citizens from all walks of life gathered to conclude the Michigan Harvest Gathering, offer their contributions and honor those companies and individuals who exemplified the spirit of the gathering by giving 110 percent to bring this year's bountiful harvest to Michigan's citizens who are hungry.
    The reception was the culmination of a five-week food and fund drive to benefit the Food Bank Council of Michigan.  The drive included seven regional collections at food banks throughout the state, collections at special events, corporate contributions and drives, and collections at points from elementary schools to university residence halls.
    As state agriculture director and Harvest Gathering organizer, Bill Schuette said, "It was a five-week-long journey filled with touching moments -- like the stop at Lansing's Red Cross Regional Food Distribution Center where a squirming, giggling preschooler quieted just long enough to proudly raise his can of vegetables to show everyone what he had brought to help.  Or, it was the third-grader from Stewart School in Flint who shyly approached first lady Michelle Engler with her can of food and smiled as Mrs. Engler warmly accepted it."
    Schuette praised individuals and businesses who gave generously despite the current economic climate.  "Even in tough times, people recognize that others have needs greater than their own.  Our thanksgiving isn't limited to a bountiful harvest, but also celebrates human generosity."
    Schuette said that generosity boosted the food and fund collection far beyond the original goals of $100,000 and 100,000 pounds of food. The preliminary totals are $206,932 and 346,137 pounds.  The figures could go higher in the next several weeks as food drives at schools and businesses end and food is taken to community food banks.
    Among those being honored for their contributions were Michigan businesses that gave at least $10,000 or 10,000 pounds of food (benefactors) or those which gave between 1,000 dollars/pounds and 10,000 dollars/pounds (patrons).
                              Benefactors
    Awrey Bakery           Bil-Mar Foods          Blue Cross/Blue Shield
    Cherry Central         Country Fresh           of Michigan
    Ford Motor Company     General Motors         Dow Chemical Company
    Kellogg Company        Little Caesars         Glen's Markets
    Michigan Bell          MI Blueberry Growers   Meijer, Incorporated
     Telephone Company      Assoc./Packer Foods   Sara Lee
    Spartan Foods
                                Patrons
    Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Co. Kmart Corporation
    American Spoon Foods                  Kowalski Sausage Company, Inc.
    ANR Pipeline                          Kroger Company
    Archway Cookies                       Keith & Patricia McKennon
    ASC, Incorporated                     Marketing Resource
    Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac, Warren      Group
    C.F. Burger Creamery Company/         MI Allied Poultry Industries
     Wesley Quaker Made                   MI Chamber of Commerce
    Chrysler Corporation                  Michigan Farm Bureau
    Citizens Insurance                    MI Milk Producers Association
    Cleveland Cliffs Iron                 Michigan Sugar Co./Great Lakes
    Comerica Bank                          Sugar Beet Growers
    Consumers Power Company               Miesel/Sysco
    Detroit Edison                        Monitor Sugar
    Detroit Pistons                       Mountain & Company
    Dow Corning                           Muchmore and Associates
    Drake's Batter Mix                    Post/General Foods
    Edward C. Levy Company                Ralston Purina
    Farm Credit of East Central MI        Robert's Packaging
    Farm Credit of Mid-MI                 Irving Rose
    Farm Credit of North Central MI       Loren Roslund
    Gerber Foods                          Southern Michigan Cold Storage
    Esther and Carl Gerstacker            Talon, Incorporated
    Great Lakes Packing/                  Word of Faith Christian Center
     Triple D Orchards
    Hygrade Food Products
    ITT Automotive
    Michigan Harvest Gathering Pledges to Date:
     Food:   346,137 pounds
     Funds:  $206,932
     MICHIGAN COMMODITY GROUPS HELP RECEPTION GUESTS ENJOY HARVEST
    Michigan's commodity organizations were at center stage during the reception and provided guests with luscious samples of their products. Many of the commodity groups also gave food and/or funds to the drive.
    Those groups who participated in the reception by hosting tables were:  Michigan Apple Commission; Michigan Bean Commission, Michigan Beef Industry Commission; Michigan Blueberry Growers Association (with Golden Brown Bakery and Packer Foods); Michigan Pork Producers Association; Great Lakes Sugar Beet Growers Association; Michigan Cherry Committee (with National Cherry Queen, Mitzie McKay); Michigan Veal Committee; Michigan Potato Industry Commission; Michigan Corn Growers; United Dairy Industry of Michigan; and, Michigan Allied Poultry Industries, Inc. (with Bil-Mar Foods).
    In addition, the Michigan for Quality members provided samples. They include the Michigan Onion Committee, Michigan Fresh Market Carrot Committee, Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, and the Michigan Celery Promotion Cooperative.
        GENERAL MOTORS SCORES BIG FOR MICHIGAN HARVEST GATHERING
    Detroit -- Auto giant General Motors made a strong commitment to the state's first Harvest Gathering.  During the reception program honoring donors, Gov. John Engler and Bill Schuette thanked GM President Robert Stempel for the company's generosity.  In addition to a corporate gift of $10,000, General Motors workers also raised $56,305 and 20 tons of food.  General Motors also created a harvest gathering display, which was transported to the fairgrounds to delight reception participants.
             OTHER STATE AUTOMAKERS HELP MAKE MHG A SUCCESS
    Detroit -- Ford Motor Company contributed $10,000 to the success of the Michigan Harvest Gathering, and Ford employees raised 5,215 pounds of food.
    Chrysler Corporation added a check for $1,000.  Thanks to both.
   DETROIT PISTONS FANS SHOW SPIRIT OF GIVING IS ALIVE AT AUBURN HILLS
    Auburn Hills -- thanks to the energy and commitment of Chris Laimbeer, wife of Piston Bill Laimbeer, the team was able to collect 6,824 pounds of canned goods during the Pistons game on Sunday, Nov. 10. Fans were asked to donate the cans as they entered the Palace.  The food raised was donated to the Food Bank of Oakland County.
           BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN DONATES $10,000
    Detroit -- Health care giant Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan will make the holidays a little better for some Michigan folks thanks to its generous contribution of $10,000 to the state's first Michigan Harvest Gathering.
                KMART ALSO PROVIDES A GENEROUS DONATION
    Detroit -- Michigan's Kmart Corporation generously donated $5,000 and 200 pounds of food.  Company CEO Joe Antonini said, "Kmart is happy that we were able to participate by giving $5,000 and 200 pounds of food to the Michigan Harvest Gathering.  This donation is in addition to providing 44,000 meals across the country as part of our National Thanksgiving Food Basket program."
             KUDOS TO OTHER BUSINESSES FOR THEIR GENEROSITY
    Everywhere -- These companies have joined the MHG since the update of Nov. 8, 1991.
    Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Company - $1,000
    Edward C. Levy Co. - $5,000
    Hygrade Food Products - $1,000 and 50 cases of hot dogs
    Mountain & Company - $1,000
    Gerber Foods - $5,000
    Loren Roslund (of Ithaca) - 50 100-pound bags of yellow eye beans
    Talon, Inc. - $1,000
    Word of Faith Christian Center - $1,000
    American Spoon Foods - 400 pounds of product (value: $1,200)
    Dow Corning - $5,000
    Esther and Carl Gerstacker - $1,000
    Kowalski Sausage Co., Inc. - 1,000 pounds sausage
    Keith and Patricia McKennon - $1,000
    Irving Rose - $1,000
    Robert's Packaging - 4,000 pounds of product
    Citizens Insurance Co. - $2,500
    Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Group, Warren - $1,000
    Comerica Bank - $1,000
    -0-                         11/19/91
    /NOTE:  CORRECTION -- In the last update, we misspelled the name of the Michigan company, Miesel-Sysco.  Sorry -- Miesel-Sysco donated $1,000.
    CONTACT:  Margaret R. Cooke of Michigan Department of Agriculture, 517-373-1104. CO:  Michigan Department of Agriculture ST:  Michigan IN: SU: SB-ML -- DE027 -- 5091 11/19/91 16:16 EST
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