Cause We Love- Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank

Sometimes a cause is so compelling, so basic, that we are forced to share it with the community.  Here is your monthly nonprofit discovery post in the series Cause We Love.

We’d like to introduce you to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, a surplus food supplier to local pantries, shelters, and other anti-hunger organizations. Feeding America West Michigan has provided nutritious food to the hungry in our community for 31 years. Now supporting 1,250 food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, domestic violence shelters, rescue missions, and other charities across west Michigan, 300,000 families benefit from this organization.

How do they provide for 40 counties in west Michigan? Local farmers, manufacturers, stores, restaurants, and distributors all contribute towards the cause.  Sometimes farmers experience an unusually large crop harvest; manufactures have label misprints; stores and restaurants over-order items, and distributors experience issues with transportation. When these “mishaps” occur, donors cannot sell the food. Fortunately, the food is not less than good quality and can be donated. Rather than throwing the perfectly good food in the trash, donors call Feeding America West Michigan to pick up the items or schedule a delivery to one of their seven warehouses.

The giving gets better. Aside from supplying many local anti-hunger groups, Feeding America West Michigan also sends food directly to individuals and families in need through their Mobile Pantry Program. Since some of their service areas don’t have enough local agencies or any at all, the Food Bank offers 11 convenient Mobile Pantries that visit arranged locations.

Although Feeding America West Michigan has been extremely effective in curbing hunger in our community, the need for emergency food assistance in west Michigan remains high especially with the recent reduction by our federal government in supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) spending that started the first part of November. Funding for Michigan’s share of SNAP, commonly known as food stamps, will drop by $183 million in the next year, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Being hungry sucks. How much are you spending on lunch today? About 10 bucks? A $10 donation is enough to send 40 meals to families in need throughout west Michigan.  Try packing your lunch tomorrow and send that extra $10 over to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank where they can stretch those dollars to help multiple families avoid the pangs that accompany food insecurity.

Interested in supporting the cause? You can donate your time, food, funds, lend your voice, or join the Million Meal March, a campaign to raise enough money to distribute an additional 1 million meals for west Michigan families in need.

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