“We have been talking about how the Community Foundation helps our neighbors in need by providing local organizations with grants for food,” notes Sarah Copeland, Director of Grants and Programs at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. She continues, “Back on February 9th, I started by telling you that we provided a total of $47,562 in food grants through our Annual Grant Cycle. This week, we conclude our food grants series with two other programs from Second Harvest North Central Food Bank.”
PHOTO: Grants are presented to Second Harvest North Central Food Bank: (L-R) Brianna Spry, Community Foundation Program Administrator; Susan Estee and Trisha Zimmerman, Second Harvest North Central Food Bank; Jim Lamke, Community Foundation Board Member.
Delivering Food to Isolated Areas
Second Harvest’s mobile pantry delivers nutritious food to isolated rural communities that aren’t large enough to support and sustain their own permanent food shelf. Each month, the mobile pantry delivers food to the communities of Ball Club, Bena, Inger, and S. Lake. In particular, these four communities have a high degree of need, but few local resources. These communities also have high rates of disease such as hypertension and diabetes.
In 2020, the mobile pantry will serve approximately 300 households per month. Over the course of the year, nearly 160,000 pounds of food will be distributed through the program. This represents a more than 100 percent increase in distribution over the past two years.
The Edgar and Hannah Hetteen Fund provided $5,500 to help deliver food to these rural areas. The remaining $2,000 of the requested amount was fulfilled by the Peace & Progress Donor Advised Fund. The Peace and Progress Donor Advised Fund is a great example of how Donor Advised Funds work to fulfill your goals and intent for building a better community. Copeland remarks, “Donors come to the Community Foundation and talk about how they want to positively impact ideas and programs that build a more equitable society, work toward kindness and justice in community – and poof – a fund is born. These donors chose to name the fund to reflect the purpose and vision, so anyone interested in advancing ideas of peace and progress in our community can donate.
Nutritious Food for Neighbors in Need
The purpose of the Nutritious Food for Neighbors in Need Program is to help low-income individuals in the Grand Rapids area who suffer from food insecurity and health issues.
The Second Harvest Food Shelf is the onsite food shelf at Second Harvest North Central Food Bank and they provide food to more than 2,500 individuals per month, primarily to people living in the greater Grand Rapids area. Distributed food includes a broad range of non-perishable foods and fresh whole foods as well as specialty items for individuals who face a range of health issues including high blood pressure and diabetes.
In order to help, Second Harvest has turned to non-traditional sources for food collection such as the Retail Grocery Food Rescue and local gardens. There is an ongoing need, however, to make other types of food available, particularly for people with diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. These foods include rice, beans, whole grains, and other low-sodium, high-fiber alternatives, which are not currently available to Second Harvest through its other sources.
The Edgar and Hannah Hetteen Fund provided the requested $5,000 specifically to purchase these types of food for distribution at the Food Shelf."
The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has been connecting donors’ charitable intentions to community needs for over 25 years to make our Greater Itasca Area – and the world – a better place to live. We invite you to become part of the good work we do, and to include us in the conversation with your financial or estate planner to answer the question “What good do you want your money to do?” For more information, stop in, or schedule a visit by calling (218) 999-9100.