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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Does Your Food Pantry Need a Hand? Dancing With the Local Stars Can Help - Britta Cleveland Reports

So exciting to know that this year's DANCING WITH THE LOCAL STARS is already SOLD OUT!.. Knowing that all the funds raised from this years event will go directly to funding our West Michigan food pantries...helping to feed thousands in our area.  I just met with DWTLS Executive Director, Mary Kendall and Matt Kaley, who is the Executive Director of Love Inc. in Muskegon.  Teaming up to help feed residents in need throughout Greater Muskegon, Southern Oceana and North Ottawa Counties.



DANCING WITH THE LOCAL STARS is celebrating its 11th season....every year raising vital funds for West Michigan Food Pantries.    This year hoping to surpass the One Million Dollar mark.   Love Inc. located on East Apple Avenue in Muskegon proudly is the main donation hub for all our Muskegon, Southern Oceana and Northern Ottawa Counties food pantries.  This coming Thursday, February 14 at midnight Love Inc. will no longer accept food pantry donation requests for this years DWTLS donation recipients.
Apply to be a Beneficiary of the WDCC for Your Food Pantry

Please...if your donation facility would like to submit a donation request ...all are required to be sent NO LATER THAN this THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14....by midnight.

The DANCING WITH THE LOCAL STARS is presented by the WOMEN's DIVISION Chamber of Commerce of Muskegon....hoping to raise vital funds for our West Michigan food pantries ....with the help of LOVE INC. Of Muskegon County.    DWTLS will be held Thursday, February 21...Friday, February 22...and two performances on Saturday, February 23......  Thank you again to Mary Kendall and Matt Kaley. ..... Best wishes to all the dancers and supporters of this event....hoping to raise over 1 Million dollars towards feeding our West Michigan residents in need.


2019 DANCING WITH THE LOCAL STARS FOOD PANTRY DONATION REQUESTS:
Deadline:  Thursday, February 14....midnight
Email:   wdccwaysandmeans@yahoo.com



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Orchard View Elementary Students Get a Hand From Kids Food Basket

Kids Food Basket.  It's next to impossible to believe that in 2019 that we have to rely on a community outreach like Kids Food Basket to help assure that the children of our community are provided the 3 meals a day that are needed for proper nutrition to fuel their young bodies and minds, but the reality is, it takes a village..and it takes an organization like Kids Food Basket to maintain the food, and the awareness about the necessity.



Founded in 2001 when Mary K. Hoodhood heard from a principal in Grand Rapids that kids were digging through the trash in the lunch room to find food to take home for dinner, she knew something had to be done.  First thought was to call Child Protective services, but digging a little deeper, it wasn't abuse or neglect, it was simply the fact that the homes they came from simply had no money for food.  People working two or three jobs to make ends meet.  Sacrificing time away from family to simply keep a roof over their heads.
Follow Kids Food Basket on Facebook

Since 2001, Kids Food Basket has extended their reach past Grand Rapids.  They now help out in Holland and Muskegon as well, and if you're sitting down, we'll hit you with some statistics.  In West Michigan there are currently 794,700 children receiving free or reduced meals at school.  SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY FOUR THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED!  There are 8000 kids fed daily by Kids Food Basket at 47 schools and there are 30 schools on the waiting list for help for their students.  Folks...those numbers are simply staggering and this is not a problem limited to inner cities or rural areas.  Food insecurity is real and happening right where we live.  Including the Orchard View School District.

OV Elementary has become one of the newer schools that are receiving the "sack suppers" for the kids to take home for that all important evening meal.   As mentioned, it's not inner cities, it's not ghost towns it's neighborhoods with great pride and hard working families like Orchard View who are struggling.  Our friends and neighbors.  Hiding behind their pride and need.  Kids at the OV elementary schools were hiding food in their pockets and desks so they didn't have to go hungry at night.  Just next to impossible to believe.

I sat down with Angel Mendiola from the Kids Food Basket and OV Elementary Principal Heather MacDonald and Early Childhood Specialist Brandy Carey to talk about the cause and effect, as well as what they have found since Kids Food Basket has gotten involved at their schools.  We also talked a little about how Muskegon came together to make sure kids got fed during the Polar Vortex.  Take a listen.


It's on us all.  This is all of our future and it's the simplest of basic needs.  It's a grass roots organization to the core and it's based on all of us doing our little part.  If you'd like to know more about Kids Food Basket or if you'd like to know how to help.