Food Club brings stability and relief to local family

Two weeks after adopting their twin grandchildren, Deb Sall’s husband lost his job of twenty-three years. While adoption subsidies kept her family from losing their home, they left little room for to purchase food and no way to plan for emergencies. The Sall family found the Community Food Club when they needed it most.

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“The Food Club is a lifesaver,” says Deb. “We wouldn’t be able to afford food for five people without it.”

At the Community Food Club, low-income households pay $10 and are given points to shop with based on their family size. The Sall family receives 130 points each month and can pick from fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, cheese, milk, meat -- all things you would find at a grocery store.

“You just feel welcomed when you walk in,” says Deb. “It’s clean, and the staff and shoppers are friendly. You don’t feel bad about coming like you do at some places. It’s a blessing.”

What separates the Food Club from a grocery store? The price.

At the Food Club, fruits and vegetables are the lowest priced items (1 point each) while snack foods are some of the most expensive (4 points). This allows Deb and her family to have access to the healthy food they desire.

“We eat better now than before my husband lost his job,” Deb says. As members of the Food Club, the Sall’s are able have yogurt, meat, and fresh produce on a consistent basis. Options like the Community Food Club make feeding the family less of a struggle, so the Salls can focus on finding jobs and creating a safe and stable home.

No one should suffer the stress, indignity, and insecurity of hunger. Through community contributions, Heart of West Michigan United Way supports emergency food programs and collaborative efforts that build toward long-term food security for people in Kent County.

Last year, we granted $50,000 from our Community Investment Fund to the Community Food Club and hundreds of healthy meals packaged at Food from the Heart were distributed there.