Feast or famine for food banks at Thanksgiving

By KAREN HOPPER USHER
Capital News Service
LANSING — In Comstock Park near Grand Rapids, the hunger organization Feeding America West Michigan is doing something it’s never done before for Thanksgiving. The group is opening its warehouses directly to the public instead of only to hunger organizations like soup kitchens. The reason is that the group is having its fourth record year in a row of food donations, said Andrew Steiner, the media coordinator for the organization. That means its warehouse is full. The full house is partially due to a strong harvest, he said, and partially due to the organization’s relationships with food producers.

Volunteers and local organizations are key in helping the Holt Community Food Bank

By Austin Short
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

The Holt Community Food Bank has been helping families in need for over 20 years now, with the help of local volunteers and organizations leading the way. The local food bank relies heavily on grants, food and cash donations year -ound, but also holds fundraisers. Other local organizations donate food or money as well. The Holt Kroger is extremely supportive of the food bank giving bread, baked goods, produce and frozen meats. Bonnie Mahieu, Holt Community Food Bank Coordinator, estimates that Kroger donates hundreds of pounds of food every week.

Farmers markets stretch food dollars for poor

By ALEX MITCHELL
Capital News Service
LANSING—Michigan residents on food assistance are doubling their purchasing power at farmers markets in a program that encourages healthier eating while supporting farmers. The growing program is so successful that state officials expect it to expand even more next year. “For the first time, families are thinking of where the food is coming from and canning and freezing some food for the winter,” said Rachel Chadderdon, Double Up Food Bucks program manager. The program provides more healthy food to a state that is tenth in the nation in obesity. The rate among Michigan adults is 31 percent.