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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.” 

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—As Memorial Day approaches, Kent County Commissioners are getting ready to hear a proposal to create a millage to support county veterans.

The proposed Dedicated Veterans Millage would be for .050 mill, generating slightly more than $1 million for veteran outreach and emergency services.  The measure would also more than double available federal claims assistance hours. 

On May 8, the Kent County Board of Commissioners Millage Subcommittee unanimously supported forwarding the millage request onto the Finance and Physical Resources Committee for consideration. The proposal will be discussed at the Kent County Commission’s finance meeting Tuesday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m.  Supporters hope to get the millage on the November ballot.

My Town: Stamp Out Hunger results better than originally expected

My Town: Stamp Out Hunger results better than originally expected

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Organizers of the 2014 Stamp Out Hunger food drive say while donation numbers are down this year, the results are better than they first thought.

Andrew Steiner with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank says the Northwest, East Paris and Northeast communities dominated in this year's drive.  The final donation numbers from the May 10 event are: 

My Town: Lack of sponsor hurts Stamp Out Hunger campaign

My Town: Lack of sponsor hurts Stamp Out Hunger campaign

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—  Organizers of the 2014 Stamp Out Hunger food drive believe the lack of a regional sponsor hurt the outcome of this year's drive.

Andrew Steiner with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank says letter carriers collected an estimated 70,000 pounds of food in the Grand Rapids area May 10.  That's less than half of what they collected the year prior, when a sponsor distributed paper bags printed with the Stamp Out Hunger information ahead of the drive. Traditionally, residents will fill those bags with non-perishable food items and place it by their mailbox the morning of the drive. Steiner says other communities also saw a decline in donations.

Steiner says this year's donations will provide nearly 55,000 meals for people living in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.  He also says the weather cooperated during the drive; volunteers didn't lose a single food item to rain damage.