A longtime resident of the Washington Heights neighborhood, Johnson helped the travelers, many of whom arrived on foot, sign up for free groceries. She later pointed them toward several long tables where polite young men bagged milk, eggs, potatoes, cereal and other produce for each customer."If you can help fix a meal for one child, you're doing a lot. There's a need for help in a lot of ways," Johnson said in the shade of the community house, one of seven food distribution sites in Battle Creek that began summer operations Friday.
The weekly giveaway of fresh produce from mid-June to late September is part of an annual feeding operation by the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, which provides truck loads of food to the sites, which in turn give it away every Friday on a first-come, first-served basis.The dispensation was especially sweet Friday in central Washington Heights, a community with hunger needs that hasn't had a weekly pick-up site since the last one ended several years ago at the Washington Heights United Methodist Church on Wood Street. Users of the summer food program in that area have had to drive or get rides to one of the other sites; the closest is Second Missionary Baptist on Washington Avenue.