The Rapidian

Food Pantry and Grocery Store Partner to Provide Christmas Meals

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Prompted by a visit to Family Network the day before Thanksgiving, SpartanNash employee creates a new giving program for holiday meals.
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You Can Provide Hope and Help

The Family Fare Meal Drive is a remider that West Michigan is a kind, caring place to live.  Many are facing uncertainty this year. Generous people are giving to make sure others have enough in these tough times. If you would like to support neighbors in need who turn to Family Network, donate today at http://www.fntw.org/donate.  

Volunteers are also needed to ensure the food pantry operations continue. If you are interested in helping please call 616-885-9919 and speak with Raycheen Sims, Executive Director of Operations.

We hear so often that "We're all in this together," but when we stand beside each other, sharing our gifts, that phrase means so much more!

Metro Family Fare Employees Ready to Load Meals for Pantry Visitors

Metro Family Fare Employees Ready to Load Meals for Pantry Visitors /Karrie Brown

Partnership with Family Fare and Family Network Displayed At Metro Store

Partnership with Family Fare and Family Network Displayed At Metro Store /Karrie Brown

67 Christmas Meals-Donated by Community Members, Prepared by Family Fare Deli

67 Christmas Meals-Donated by Community Members, Prepared by Family Fare Deli /Karrie Brown

Family Network's food pantry has been busier this year than ever before. Community members impacted by pandemic job losses have turned to the organization for help, along with those who were struggling pre-pandemic. By the end of September, the organization had served more people than in all of 2019. 

Each family who visits the drive through food pantry at 1029 44th St. SW Wyoming, MI receives a shopping cart full of groceries to help stretch their household resources. The week of Thanksgiving, families also received a turkey, and everything needed to make a holiday meal. 

A long-time pantry supporter called Wednesday, the week of Thanksgiving, to see if there was a need for a turkey. She had bought one that she would not need.  She mentioned that it was frozen, so it would not be able to be cooked the following day.  

Karrie Brown, Executive Director of Development shared, "I told her that all of the turkeys we were passing out that day were frozen too, and that we would love to have one more to pass along. She asked how people would be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner with a frozen turkey." 

That simple question sparked a deeper conversation, which turned into a giving campaign.  SpartanNash and Family Fare stores had just concluded their Pantry Scan program, raising funds at the cash register to support local pantries.  The Family Fare at 2275 Health Dr. SW Wyoming, MI had been raising funds for Family Network. The partnership has been in place for many years now.  The idea of a Christmas Meal campaign was an extension of that partnership. 

"The curious turkey donor works for SpartanNash. She asked if Family Network would be interested in having meals from the Family Fare deli available to pass out for Christmas.  The whole thing came together over Thanksgiving weekend," said Karrie Brown.

Family Fare sells meals ready to serve through their deli.  The holiday meals come in three sizes, depending on the number of people who will be dining.  The idea for the campaign involved Family Network adding the three meal levels to their giving page. Donors were asked via Family Network's Facebook page, as well as through emails to the Grandville Jenison Chamber of Commerce and Wyoming Kentwood Chamber of Commerce, which both Family Network and SpartanNash are part of, to purchase meals for their neighbors in need.  The meals were added to the giving page December 1. By December 15, donors had purchased 67 meals.

"It is heartwarming to see people give like this. Families will gather around tables this week to a wonderful meal, cooked with love by Family Fare employees, and donated by caring community members. All because one person had a frozen turkey to donate and asked a really simple question. God works in mysterious ways, and I know His fingerprints are all over this," Karrie shared.

Meals will be distributed Monday, December 21 and Wednesday, December 23 during regular pantry hours. They will be available on a first come, first served basis, while supplies last.

To learn more about Family Network, visit their website at http://www.fntw.org or their Facebook page at http://facebook.com/familynow.  While donations for these Christmas meals have ended, continued support is needed to make sure that all who turn to Family Network in need receive help and hope.

 

 

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