The Rapidian

Food Bank invites community to lunch on June 9

Feeding America West Michigan will honor volunteers, food donors and partner agencies at the Many Hands Against Hunger luncheon in Grand Rapids.
Awards designed by Reb Roberts will be given to four of the Food Bank's community partners at the June 9 luncheon.

Awards designed by Reb Roberts will be given to four of the Food Bank's community partners at the June 9 luncheon. /Reb Roberts

Underwriting support from:
WZZM 13's Catherine Behrendt will host the event.

WZZM 13's Catherine Behrendt will host the event.

Food Bank client Michele Childs will share her personal story.

Food Bank client Michele Childs will share her personal story.

Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank is inviting the community to lunch. The Many Hands Against Hunger summer luncheon will be held at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, June 9.

Hosted by WZZM 13’s Catherine Behrendt, the fundraising event will be both a celebration of the past year’s accomplishments and a chance to advance the Food Bank’s mission to solve hunger even further.

“There’s a lot to celebrate, and also a lot of work left to do,” said Ken Estelle, Feeding America West Michigan’s CEO. “Our message is that solving hunger is possible if we work together.”

During the program, four hunger-relief partners will be recognized for their contributions to the mission: volunteer Carole Griffeth, financial supporters Tom and Megan Nelis, major food donor Kellogg Company and hunger-relief partner agency Love INC Newaygo. The program will also feature a personal story from Food Bank client Michele Childs.

Once diabetic and obese, Childs was able to get her disease and her weight under control with help from Streams of Hope, one of Feeding America West Michigan’s partner agencies. (Watch Childs’ story on Feeding America West Michigan’s website.)

Childs admits that she felt some shame about visiting a food pantry initially, but that the staff at Streams of Hope made her feel welcome and played a large role in her transformation. “There was no judgment. It’s important to know that these food pantries are here for you,” she said.

Many Hands Against Hunger will conclude with an opportunity for guests to donate to Feeding America West Michigan. Funds raised will support the organization’s distribution of food to more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs and other hunger-relief agencies across 40 Michigan counties.

“There’s more than enough food to meet the need,” Estelle said. “With the financial support of our community, we know this problem can be solved.”

Many Hands Against Hunger runs from 12 to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. To register, visit FeedingAmericaWestMichigan.org/Luncheon.

Many Hands Against Hunger is underwritten by Meijer and National Food Group with support from Independent Bank, Star Truck Rentals and Chris  Stoffel Overvoorde.

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