WLUC-TV has teamed up with area radio stations to present the annual TV6 Canathon.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event is virtual. Rather than donating cans at various collection sites, participants can make a monetary donation to the food pantry of their choice on the official event website.

Canathon director Scott Zerbel says after grappling with COVID-19 for most of the year, the need is greater than ever. “All the food pantries are really taxing their resources to service all those that are laid off and those that did lose their job,” said Zerbel. “It’s something that was evident in the spring, but still it is out there.”

In addition to keeping participants healthy, collecting money rather than cans allows each pantry to purchase specific products they need. St. Vincent de Paul in Marquette reports the Canathon supplies its pantry for six to seven months.

According to Marquette pantry manager and district president Jacy Williams, the pandemic has had a major impact on Marquette County residents, especially those with kids.

“So many families right now are hurting,” Williams said. “There’s still a lot of unemployment, and we’re noticing bigger families with children. We’re making sure the kids are fed.”

Marquette County Salvation Army Captain Doug Winters says the Canathon is the organization’s largest food drive each year, helping to feed approximately 400 families per month.

“Through the drive, we normally get about 10,000 – 12,000 pounds of food,” Winters said. “We use that for about a four to five month period every year.” Captain Winters says any donation can make a big difference for someone in need. “Some folks just don’t want to express that they’re in need,” said Winters. “They could be a neighbor of yours that you just don’t know is in need. They come to us and we’re able to help them and get food on the table.”

Visit the Canathon website here.

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