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March 2024

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

It seems fitting that these lines from Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” repeat in my head after a conversation with former high school humanities teacher, Kathy Petersen.

Today, Kathy Peterson wears many hats, works hard, and is very hands on in the pursuit of bringing food to hungry kids. Her titles, Founder and Executive Director of the Northmen Den Youth Services, are volunteer positions. She works hard because children are in need.

The goal of the Northmen Den Youth Services is to “nourish our neediest students by providing food, tutoring, and mentoring in a manner that respects dignity and individuality, while sustaining dreams.”

March 2023

PETOSKEY — For the month of march, Julienne Tomatoes is partnering with Northmen Den for the “Give a Kid A Chance” food drive.  

Through March, Julienne Tomatoes is sponsoring a food drive to help stock youth pantry shelves in Emmet County for the school year. Pantries support Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Pellston and Alanson families.

Julie Adams, owner of Julienne’s Tomatoes, said so far, the store has donated 10 large boxes, which she estimated to be able to hold about 40 pounds each, in food to the pantry. They’ve also donated $180 in cash and $50 in gift cards.  

Adams said participating in this drive is important to her because of “how troubled life is for our kids.” She said that the shooting at Michigan State left her with a “bit of a helpless feeling” and she wanted to give back.  

Aug. 2023

EMMET COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) — An Emmet County organization fighting child hunger is opening a new youth pantry this fall.

To help make the pantry a success volunteers are needed.

Northmen Den Youth Services is opening its 15th pantry at Harbor Springs high School.

The organization’s first pantry was opened at Petoskey Middle School in 2016.

Along with food items, students are also able to access toiletries and school supplies.

“We have around 60 volunteers who run and buy the food, get the food, order the food, deliver the food. Each pantry usually has at least three to four volunteers who greet the kids and make them feel comfortable,” said Kathy Peterson. “The kids come for the food first, but then they come back for the volunteers.”

April 2022

Northmen Den Youth Pantries receives $5,000 donation

PETOSKEY — Through Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, agent Dan Polleys, along with Bill McMasters of Bill’s Farm Market and Ben Blaho of the Emmet County Farm Bureau Board, Polleys’ agency recently presented a check for $5000 to Kathy Petersen — executive Director of The Northmen Den Youth Pantries.

The Northmen Den Youth Pantries works to feed children from across our region and provide mentorship and tutoring to these students as well. The pantry serves Emmet County middle and high school youth ages 11-18 years of age who deal with hunger daily.

Dec. 2021

Sandwich Lunch Brigade Program

Northmen Den Youth Pantries, a pending 501c3 nonprofit, is launching this lunchtime Sandwich Brigade in partnership with Parkside Deli, Therapy Solutions and Monarch Workforce.

Concord Academy is a tuition-free charter school and its building does not have a kitchen. The students must bring their own lunches, and teachers found themselves making sandwiches in their classrooms for students. When NDYP’s board members learned about this, they had to take action. The Concord Corner Sandwich Lunch Brigade is a pilot program that NDYP hopes to expand and provide to even more students.

Nov. 2021

End of Year Newsletter

….In the last two school years, we’ve overcome extra challenges in reaching our students in need as the COVID-19  pandemic continues to impact operations at each school.  We desperately miss our in-person interactions with the students but remain committed to providing food each week delivered to the schools for student pickup….

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