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      Portage Health participates in statewide food drive

      Portage Health Hospital in Hancock is participating in the Michigan Healthy Hospital Association's Harvest Gathering food drive through the end of the month to support the local food bank.

      The hospital will be collecting non-perishable food items through October 30 at their locations in Hancock, Lake Linden, Calumet, and Houghton.

      Last year, 85 hospitals in Michigan participated and collected 99,000 pounds of food, and Portage Health alone collected 5,000 pounds. This year, the hospital has a goal of collecting 10,000 pounds to donate to the food bank.

      "194,000 people every week need food assistance in the State of Michigan, so that's pretty staggering," said Portage Health Exec. Chef Mark Pittillo. "The misconception is that rural areas don't oftentimes need that assistance, but in fact, about 40 percent of our residents do need assistance."

      Hospital employees will be at Michigan Tech's football and hockey games on Saturday collecting items as well.