On June 19, 2019, 751 volunteers gathered at Van Andel Arena for Heart of West Michigan United Way’s fourth-annual Food from the Heart. In two short hours, these volunteers packed more than 150,000 nutritious meals. Our partners at Feeding America West Michigan are distributing those meals to food pantries and other hunger-relief agencies throughout Kent County.
To see photos from the event, visit our Facebook page.
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You can support our efforts to provide good food to our neighbors in need all year long. Make a donation today!
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What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity is having unreliable access to healthy food on a day-to-day basis. Food insecurity means skipping meals or buying cheaper, less nourishing food because it’s all you can afford. Here in Kent County, 1 in 9 people are food insecure, along with 1 in 8 children.
Having a job does not guarantee food security. In fact, 28% of Kent County households are ALICE — meaning they work but still struggle to afford the basics like food, housing, and childcare. Contrary to the stereotype, 74% of SNAP (food stamps) recipients worked while receiving assistance or within 12 months of receiving it.
What is Heart of West Michigan United Way doing about food insecurity in Kent County?
Heart of West Michigan United Way is committed to tackling our community’s most pressing issues like housing, education, workforce development, and food security.
Last year, 28,417 people were fed through the programs we fund at 11 Kent County agencies, including food pantries, congregate meal sites, Meals on Wheels Western Michigan, and the Community Food Club, a low-cost, membership-based grocery store.