By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Oxford/Orion FISH food pantry’s annual Christmas gift drive is a little different this year. The AngelFISH program is only giving out Meijer gift cards, instead of physical toys, due to Covid-19. Donations made by Saturday, Dec. 12 will be used by FISH clients across Oxford, Orion, Addison and Oakland townships to buy presents for their children.
FISH is giving out cards to 120 children from 52 families in need this year, according to the program’s co-chair, Michelle Behm. “Anyone wishing to donate to AngelFISH can send a check made out to Oxford/Orion FISH and write Angelfish in the memo and on the envelope,” Behm said. “We are also accepting Meijer gift cards as well.”
On the grocery side of things, Oxford Meijer at 900 N. Lapeer Rd. has also partnered with FISH through its Holiday Simply Give program, which runs through Jan. 2. Customers are encouraged to purchase a $10 Simply Give donation card upon checkout. Once purchased, the donation is converted into a Meijer Food-Only Gift Card and donated directly to the local food pantry selected by the store to ensure that all donations generated remain within local communities.
“Instead of determining what food to donate to our food pantry partners, the Simply Give program allows them the flexibility to choose the grocery items best suited for the families they serve in their communities,” the Meijer website says.
Dec. 12 is a “double match day” meaning Meijer will double match every $10 donation card so that an additional $20 is added to the donation, tripling the impact of each customer’s generosity. The fall campaign was very successful, with FISH receiving a donation of $24,000.
Last week, the Leader reported that FISH is accepting food donations again, for the first time since the pandemic began. There is now a drop box for unexpired, nonperishable food items at the Oxford post office at 52 E Burdick St., in addition to the Lake Orion post office. FISH will also accept donations at the pantry at 1060 S. Lapeer Rd. the next two Tuesdays, December 15 and 22, from 9am to noon.
By James Hanlon