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My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Knock back a beer and help knock out cancer this month with “Hops for Hope.”

 

During September, several West Michigan breweries will be donating $1 from each “purple beer” purchase to Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community.  Proceeds from sales of Hops for Hope growlers and refills will also go to the cause.

 

“It’s good to give back to the community,” Bob Bonga, owner of the family-owned and operated Jaden James Brewery in Kentwood. “It’s wonderful that VAI is in Grand Rapids, and 100% of what we raise goes to research.”

 

My Town: Crews gut shuttered Alpine Avenue restaurant

My Town: Crews gut shuttered Alpine Avenue restaurant

WALKER, Mich.—A building on Alpine Avenue that’s been home to numerous restaurants will no longer be serving up meals.

Construction crews this week are gutting the former Wild Chef Restaurant at 3303 Alpine Ave.  The site was previously home to a Bennigan’s restaurant.

Walker building official Tim Musser says the building will be split into two businesses—a Mattress Firm on the south side and The Vitamin Shoppe on the north side. 

At least two other mattress stores have opened or are planned for Alpine Avenue; Art Van opened its Pure Sleep shop in the former Hallmark storefront at 3450 Alpine Ave. NW late last year and plans are in place to open a Sleep Doctor Mattress store at 4235 Alpine Ave., in Alpine Township.

Musser says developers have already obtained all the necessary permits to convert the former Wild Chef restaurant, which abruptly closed Sunday, June 1.  It’s unclear when the new businesses will open to the public.

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).