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My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—An estimated 492,100 people rely on Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to fill their plates and feed their families.

That’s according to a newly-released study, titled “Hunger in American 2014.”  The study found 46 million people nationwide count on Feeding America food banks each year.  In West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, the need includes 58,200 seniors and at least 119,400 children.

“This study shows us that the face of hunger looks a lot like the one we see in the mirror,” said Ken Estelle, CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “Most of us are one or two catastrophic events away from being in the same position.”

The study shows in roughly one-third of client households, at least one adult had worked for pay in the last four weeks.  Additionally, 40 percent had some education beyond high school.

My Town: Raspberry farm hosts first gleaning for families in need July 31

My Town: Raspberry farm hosts first gleaning for families in need July 31

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—An army of volunteers will be out in the fields of Krupp Farms Thursday, July 31, gathering fresh food for families in need.

The trip to the Comstock Park farm is the first gleaning for Feeding America West Michigan this season.  The nonprofit organization is told there is an abundance of raspberries ripe for the picking. 

The pantry produce picking will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Krupp Farms, located at 8025 Krupp Ave. NE. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.  At least 45 people are needed.  To register, visit the event page here.

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County

My Town: Pantry on wheels rolls into Eastown July 22

My Town: Pantry on wheels rolls into Eastown July 22

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A pantry on wheels will be rolling into Eastown Wednesday to help feed families in need.

The Feeding America West Michigan mobile food pantry will be stationed outside Sigsbee School/Southeast Academic Center July 23, to distribute food traditional pantries do not normally have available for those in need.  Distribution will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.   People who would like to volunteer to help should email info@eastown.org.

 The Feeding America truck will return to the area Aug. 13.

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

My Town: Park patch to help fight hunger in West Michigan

My Town: Park patch to help fight hunger in West Michigan

WYOMING, Mich.—United Church Outreach Ministry is getting down and dirty to help fight hunger in West Michigan.

As part of their newest project, Growing Green Neighbors, ministry members teamed up with community members, Metro Health employees and other volunteers Tuesday to turn a patch of Wyoming’s Marquette Park into a thriving garden.

The food will be donated to Feeding America West Michigan, increasing the amount of healthy fresh vegetables available to pantry visitors.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.”