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Replacing Light Bulbs to Feed Poor Families

In August 2012, b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2013-02-25-at-4.17.52-PM.png Approximately 25,000 bulbs have already been distributed by Feeding America West Michigan, while the remaining 75,000 bulbs will be distributed out of the group’s Comstock Park and Cadillac warehouses beginning Tuesday, Feb. 26. Each family will receive a package of two CFLs, along with information on the bulb’s benefits and other energy saving tips.

Families that do not receive assistance through the participating food pantries can purchase discounted CFLs at more than 275 stores across Michigan through Consumers Energy’s Savings Solutions program. To locate participating stores, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/myhome.

“CFLs are an easy way for families to cut energy costs and focus their resources on other needs,” said Patti Poppe, the utility’s vice president of customer experience and operations. “We know in these tough economic times it’s important to help our neighbors. Our work with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank makes this a great fit.”

Poppe added that “We are working hard to help our neighbors use energy more efficiently. With more than 200 energy efficiency incentives and rebates available from Consumers Energy, improving efficiency in homes and businesses is easier than ever. Helping Michigan save energy.  That’s our promise.”

Linda Vanderbaan, fund development manager for Feeding America West Michigan, thanked Consumers Energy for its assistance. “We are thrilled with this generous donation from Consumers Energy. Our families in the greater Grand Rapids area were very appreciative of these gifts of CFLs when they were distributed last summer. This latest shipment to lend a hand to our northern Michigan families will help them stretch their budgets a little further and hopefully direct the money saved by putting a meal on the table,” she said.

The CFLs are distributed by EarthTronics, a Muskegon-based company, which is part of Consumers Energy’s continued support of the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative. Consumers Energy has significantly increased its commitment to buy products and services from Michigan companies. It has doubled to $500 million its commitment to do so under Pure Michigan Business Connect.

Energy Star-qualified CFLs can last up to 10,000 hours or nine years. They produce 75 percent less heat than traditional bulbs, making them safer to operate and more energy efficient — saving about $30 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulb.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS), provides natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

One of the nation’s largest and most effective food banks, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims edible surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It stores, processes and distributes that food through 1,250 local food pantries and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 west Michigan counties. More than 100,000 west Michigan families rely on food from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. For more information, visit www.feedingamericawestmichigan.org

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