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Banner Realty donates to Friendship Room for new computer, equipment

Courtesy Photo Randy MacAulay, director of the Friendship Room at St. Bernard’s in Alpena, receives a check from Margie Haaxma, Broker of Banner Realty.

ALPENA — Banner Realty Broker Margie Haaxma recently presented a check to Randy MacAulay, director of the Friendship Room in Alpena.

The money will be used to assist with a new computer and equipment to better handle the food orders, storage items, contacting volunteers and for purchasing to-go dinner packaging which was not necessary a year ago. COVID regulations have changed the way of food distribution. At the Friendship Room, 100 dinners per day are prepared and handed out six days a week. Over 3,000 dinners were packaged and handed out during the month of January 2021.

Friendship Room staff is presently comprised of three dedicated and tireless staff members, the director and two assistants, and approximately 140 wonderful volunteers who help prepare, serve and clean up. The philosophy of the Friendship Room Board is a loving place where the hungry may come to receive a meal served with love and friendship. The staff and volunteer workers’ hearts and arms are open to all who are hungry. The mission asks no questions; there are no means tests, and no identification required.

“If people come, we will assume they are hungry (whether it be physically, spiritually, socially, or emotionally); and we will feed them,” said Director Randy MacAulay.

The Friendship Room’s mission is, “to feed the hungry” on a daily basis six days a week and on Sunday Trinity Episcopal Church prepares and serve their meals. The finances for this ministry are provided through donations from individuals, corporations, churches, and community businesses, such as those from Banner Realty.

The Friendship Room’s caring volunteers help in several capacities, including prepping the meal, cleaning the environment, serving, stocking shelves, sorting, etc., in addition to providing a wholesome, nutritious meal from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

They have a lot of fellowship and fun throughout the process.

“We will not only fill the bellies of those struggling with hunger, but we will nurture their soul, by remembering birthdays, singing and offering prayers where needed,” MacAulay said. “Sincere thanks to Banner Realty for this kind and generous donation which goes a long way in helping during the COVID environment challenges. We are very grateful for their compassion and effort to help the fight hunger right here in Alpena.”

The Friendship Room is located at 322 W. Chisholm St. in Alpena. For information, call the Friendship Room at 989-354-8018.

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