TRAVERSE CITY — Thousands of hungry community members will eat nutritious meals thanks to the 4-H Livestock Auction at the Northwestern Michigan Fair.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan is accepting donations from Thursday’s auction as part of the fifth annual Fill the Freezer campaign. Individuals can purchase livestock at the auction and donate it to Goodwill or they can donate money directly toward livestock purchases.
Goodwill received nearly 10,000 pounds of meat from last year’s event.
“It basically saved us over $34,000 in food costs,” said Lilly Nowicki, Goodwill’s event and database coordinator.
Goodwill officials hope this year’s donations will exceed freezer capacity at Traverse City’s Goodwill Inn, the largest homeless shelter in Northern Michigan.
Any additional food will be donated to local food pantries and emergency meal providers by Food Rescue.
The Northwestern Michigan Fair also sets aside funds to purchase an animal and donate it to a local nonprofit organization. Possible recipients include the Rock of Kingsley Youth Center, Father Fred and the Women’s Resource Center.
“We like to give back to the community, and the community continues to come out and support us,” Northwestern Michigan Fair Council Vice President Scott Gray said.