Lean on Me

‘Taste of Ric’s’ this Thursday

December 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Event one of many community efforts “If you leave here hungry, that’s your fault,” said Ric’s Food Center Store Director David Brickner. Brickner is excited to offer another “Taste of Ric’s” event, free and open to the public this Thursday, December 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the store, 6767 Belding Road. Several dozen vendors will offer free samples, giveaways, and demonstrate recipes of their most delicious food items. Ric’s hosts such events periodically and the turnout and response is always enthusiastic. “We are all running around with smiles on our faces,” he said of staff who also look forward to the events. “This gives our vendors a chance to shine, and it gives us a chance to show our customers what we are capable of.” From sweet treats including ice cream, egg nog and Max and Emily cheesecakes, to Dellalo oils, dipping spices, cheeses and other Italian specialty items, Brickner said the store’s suppliers love the chance to prove how good their items are. “We barely had to whisper this to our vendors and they were right on board. They see how much excitement is generated by these events and love to be part of it.” Many suppliers deliver multiple items to the store, and many are specialty or gourmet that have a reputation for fine quality. They offer a variety of their products for tasting, and many have become household names that people look for. “We have Honey Boy Bobs, Paramount Coffee, Schuel, Carmela, Boar’s Head, Maceri and Sons, and more. Ric’s own in-store products, such as prime rib and the kielbasa created by one of the store’s butchers, Pat Ober, will also be featured. “These are internal items that we have become famous for,” Brickner noted. Other everyday names, such as Nabisco and Keebler-Kellogg will have booths. “We love to show our customers what we have to offer, not just for the holidays but for their everyday full grocery needs,” Brickner said. Customers new to the store are encouraged to make their first visit during the Taste of Ric’s. “You are not expected to spend dime one while you are here.” Brickner said people wonder how the store can afford to offer such a costly event, but he and the staff, […]

Donations keep Lean on Me helping those in need

July 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

Lisa Shaffer, director of Lean on Me outreach center, appreciates all the donations that keep the center helping residents through tough financial times. Recently, patrons of the Sand Bar in Sand Lake held a chili cook-off and raised some funds. A promise of matching the funds was made by a northern Kent County store, and nearly $1,000 of merchandise was purchased for donation to the center. Household goods, food and items such as toilet paper were all received in a shipment of hundreds of boxes, every bit of which will go, free of charge, to families in need. “We are here to just love on them,” said Shaffer of the center’s clients. “We don’t worry about what they are receiving from other organizations. We are just here to help anyone who asks.” The outreach center has the vision to take what society considers outdated, expired or damaged and offer it for free to those who want and need the items. The center relies on donations from businesses, individuals and organizations to provide food and items. On the day of the Sand Bar donation, 135 people had been through the doors. Weekly, the center helps 1,600 people. Shaffer cites items such as toilet paper as an item that is always needed and rarely donated. “You don’t think about something like that that we all need, every day,” she commented. Office hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Food box distribution hours are 5 to 8 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday. Donation hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday. The center is located at 11555 Edgerton Road, Rockford. To find out more about Lean on Me, call (616) 866-3999 or visit online at leanonmeoutreach.org.