News & Events

4/24/13 — Goodwill Inn to Launch Emergency Meals Program

Emergency Meal Prep Brandon Seng

Brandon Seng, Food Program Manager prepares Emergency Meals.

For over fifteen years, the Goodwill Inn Food Pantry has provided nourishment to hungry and homeless individuals in the Greater Traverse City community. In this time, the program has served up hope and hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to families in need. Today, the Goodwill Inn pantry is excited to announce a change in its delivery model, which will build upon this success and equip the organization to better respond to the growing needs of its constituents.

Starting May 1, an Emergency Meals program will take the place of the Inn’s traditional food pantry.   Here, nutritious, whole foods will be prepared in the Inn’s fully licensed kitchen facility, then frozen for distribution to hungry individuals and families seeking help.

“In the past, we’ve provided shelf stable foods that needed to be prepared in a kitchen off site,” explains Brandon Seng, Manager of Goodwill’s Food Programs.  “As an Emergency Shelter, many of the families seeking food had much more emergent needs, and often nowhere to cook.”

The Emergency Meals program provides pre-portioned meals cooked from scratch at the Inn that can be warmed in a microwave, oven or even over a hot plate.  Families that show up will be provided as many meals as they need, as well as a listing of the other food pantries that serve the Traverse City community.

“This change means that we will be able to provide wholesome, delicious and balanced meals to the individuals that need them most,” said Seng.  “Our community is fortunate to have a rich agricultural history, and many talented growers.  Here, access to nutritious fruits and vegetables is less a luxury, and more a right.”

Because of the 24 hour nature of the Goodwill Inn, Emergency Meals will be provided around the clock for anyone that needs them.  Changing to this model will help Goodwill make certain that no one in our community goes hungry.

Some sample Emergency Meal offerings include: Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce with Braised Swiss Chard; Sausage and Rice Jambalaya with Orange Glazed Carrots; and Scalloped Potatoes and Ham with Roasted Squash.

The Northwest Food Coalition reports an over 80% increase in the number of people served by food pantries over the past four years. The time to take action is now.  In addition to getting involved in the Goodwill Inn Emergency Meal Program, there are countless opportunities for community members to play a role in ending hunger in our community. Families are encouraged to host a food drive for a pantry closest to their home, or plant an extra row in their garden for the hungry.  A list of the Goodwill Inn most wanted food items is available at

Additionally, individuals are asked to contribute financially to this and other community feeding programs.  At the Goodwill Inn, just a one dollar donation can provide four emergency meals for our community’s food insecure.

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