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 November 6, 2015 - 6:00 AM EST
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Consumers Energy Teams Up with Food Banks to Distribute 71,000 Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs to Michigan Families

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich., Nov. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy and its employees are teaming up with two Michigan food banks to help families save energy and money, providing 71,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to over 20,000 families through local food pantries.

"Entering this holiday season, we want to provide opportunities for the Michigan residents we serve to put their money toward warming their homes and presents for loved ones," said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy's vice president and chief customer officer. "Families that receive food through a network of food banks also will receive tools to reduce their household costs."

Employees from Consumers Energy this week volunteered to help Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank package grocery items that will be distributed to the local agencies along with 66,000 CFL bulbs. Another 5,000 bulbs will be distributed through the Food Bank of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek. Families receive a package of two CFLs, along with information about energy assistance and other energy-saving tips.

The CFL bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs -- saving $40 or more in electricity costs over the course of each bulb's lifetime.

"We recognize that food insecurity doesn't exist in a vacuum. When a family is struggling to put food on the table, they're often in the midst of a larger crisis affecting their health, their education, their relationships, and their ability to pay utility bills," said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle. "By providing free energy-efficient lighting to our clients, Consumers Energy is addressing one important aspect of the difficulties facing families in Western and Northern Michigan today, and we're grateful for their partnership."

Consumers Energy helps households and businesses cut their energy costs through a variety of energy efficiency programs. Since 2009, customers have saved more than $850 million through rebates and other measures that continue to provide savings year after year. Consumers Energy provides instant discounts on lighting products at retailers throughout the state. Reduced pricing is denoted with a Consumers Energy label near the lighting product price sticker.

Consumers Energy also provides assistance to people in need in various ways. Employees, retirees, the company and its charitable foundation made more than $10 million in financial contributions to Michigan nonprofits last year. The company also matches contributions from employees to Michigan food banks and pantries, dollar for dollar.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

About Feeding America West Michigan: Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Feeding America West Michigan distributes that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan.

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FOOD BANKS: Learn about Feeding America West Michigan Bank:
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SOURCE Consumers Energy

Source: PR Newswire (November 6, 2015 - 6:00 AM EST)

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