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After a tough year, Sanford residents receive Thanksgiving meal packages

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

By any gauge, 2020 has been a difficult year. But the residents of Sanford can claim they’ve had it tougher than many.

Back in May, many lost their homes as floodwaters swept through the Midland County town.

Shelly Sampier is still living in an apartment, expecting repairs to her home won’t be complete until next year. But she’s still thankful this Thanksgiving.

“I’m thankful for getting my house rebuilt; hopefully getting back home,” says Sampier.

Sampier was among a couple of dozen Sanford residents who stopped by a Thanksgivingmeal giveaway Monday that was organized by the Michigan State Police. Meals were provided by Kroger. Each meal donation was designed to feed a family of four to six, and included a turkey and traditional sides.

“Everybody’s really challenged right now,” says Lt. Lizabeth Rich, with the Michigan State Police, who noted Sanford residents have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and economic issues, along with the repercussions of the May flood. 

Carl Hamann’s home in Sanford was inundated by the floodwaters. Six months later, he’s living in an apartment, as his home is being restored. 

“The community has come together in a way I’ve never seen before,” says Hamann. “And everybody has done more than they ever thought they could.”

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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