GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-IM Kids 3rd Meal and Ionia County Youth Advisory Council (YAC) partnered for “Peanut Butter with a Purpose” to collect donations of peanut butter and raise awareness of the struggle that many families face feeding their children.

A child’s chance for a bright future starts with getting enough food to eat. But this year, due in
part to the coronavirus pandemic, one in every five children in Ionia County, and one in every four
children in Montcalm County may not know where they will get their next meal. The IM Kids 3rd Meal
program is working to provide food insecure children in twelve schools in Ionia and Montcalm counties
with nutritious, kid-friendly evening meals alleviating hunger when they are not in school.


Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active,
healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate
foods. Food insecure children are those children living in households experiencing food insecurity.
Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a
household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills,
and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.


Ionia County YAC is a sub-committee of the Ionia County Community Foundation, the group represents
seven high schools that meet to address youth issues in Ionia County. The group meets monthly and
performs a local needs assessment bi-annually to identify issues facing local youth. Childhood hunger is high
on local youth issues. YAC has partnered with IM Kids 3rd Meal before on this event.

“This year the Youth Advisory Council blew my expectations away and brought in more
peanut butter than we have in the past. I know that these peanut butter donations will make a positive
impact on the community, which is YAC’s mission.” YAC collected 2730 pounds of peanut butter for the
IM Kids 3rd Meal program in February, Catherine Svanda, YAC sub-committee Co-chair

Michele Allen, IM Kids 3rd Meal facility manager said, “Amazing! It made a huge impact with rising
numbers of meals needed. This gives us more security to continue to meet the growing need.” The
program has been facing increasing costs and supply chain shortages so the large peanut butter
donation is helpful.


IM Kids 3rd Meal is collecting fruit cups in March. For donations of food, the facility is located at 10260 S Sheridan Rd. Fenwick, MI 48834. To make a monetary donation, visit www.imkids.org and click on
“Donate”.