BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — At Mineos Pizza in Byron Center, the entire family is involved in the business.
Even the owner’s son, 17-year-old Andrew Agius, a senior at Byron Center High School, is involved. He is well aware of the challenges COVID-19 has presented for the family business and beyond.
“I think it’s been challenging for everyone nowadays. Businesses everywhere being impacted,” Andrew said.
It has also created a challenge for families who rely on school meals.
Hudsonville-based Hand2Hand and its church partners deliver weekend meals to 7,800 kids in eight West Michigan counties.
But now those kids are home all the time.
“It’s been more difficult to purchase large quantities of food and get that food into the hands of kids,” said Hand2Hand Founder Cheri Honderd.
But Honderd came up with the idea that helps both families in need of meals and restaurants in need of customers.
“One day, I was just praying, and I felt this idea came to me about how we could partner with restaurants who are also struggling,” Honderd said.
It’s called Win Win, which partners with restaurants offering takeout like Mineos with the help of $30,000 in matching grants from the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation and the David and Carol Van Andel Foundation,
The grant money and matching donations buy gift cards from restaurants and give them to families served by Hand2Hand.
Andrew designed Mineos’ card.
“Families will receive either a $10 or $15 gift card,” Andrew said.
“It really brings the community together,” said Byron Center High School Principal Scott Joseph.“Twenty-five families at the high school benefit from Hand2Hand. Now we’re talking about our businesses that could be struggling during this time, and getting our students who need the nutrition, our businesses who need the business, and put those together.”
Hondred says it provides more than a meal for a family and a ring at the cash register for businesses.
“It brings them hope and joy,” Hondred said. “Hope because they can keep their business alive — hopefully for a long time. And joy because they’re also helping our families.”