YMCA Food Pantry celebrates first anniversary

The Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Food Pantry will celebrate their one-year anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 7.

After the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA had collected so many food items for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, they decided to try and sustain their very own year-round food pantry. After connecting with the North Kent Service Center (NKSC) and Access of Grand Rapids, the decision was made the YMCA would be a good place to start a food pantry. The NKSC gave them all of the information they needed to structure the food pantry so they could start offering food to families.

The YMCA Food Pantry is based on referrals, meaning that NKSC sends the YMCA names and information of the families that will be coming. The YMCA then has bags of food and other items all ready for them to pick up when they come. The amount of food and other items they get depends on the number of people in the family. During the summer, members and staff contributed to the pantry by bringing in fresh produce from their gardens.

The food pantry started out serving up to five families every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m., and has now been able to increase service and allow families to also come to the food pantry on Tuesday afternoons. The YMCA Food Pantry is now serving up to 14 families a week.

The YMCA has received word from NKSC that they will be receiving a grant to allow them to purchase restaurant shelving and carts to help bring the food to people’s cars.

Over the past year, the YMCA Food Pantry has served 175 adults and 141 children, totaling 316 people. Help the YMCA Food Pantry celebrate their one-year anniversary by stopping by and saying hello.

If you would like more information about the Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Food Pantry, please contact Toni Szczepanski at (616) 855-1451.

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