GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new partnership is working to improve access to fresh food in West Michigan and across the country.
Whirlpool is teaming up with Feeding America to provide new locations that people with food insecurities can turn to for help.
The “Feel Good Fridge” program started in Benton Harbor and is now in Grand Rapids.
Kyle Trewhella, a senior manager with Whirlpool, delivered food to the newest location at LifeQuest Ministries. The company donated a refrigerator for the project on Thursday.
“Refrigerators that are returned to us we are putting them through our return centers, we’re testing them, cleaning them up and then we are shipping them to nonprofit agencies,” Trewhella said.
Feeding America is providing the food, allowing the community greater access to fresh produce and perishable food items, which, according to Feeding America spokesperson Molly Kooi, is something more challenging to find at many food pantries.
“We hear that nutritious food is what they want and we distribute a lot of that through our mobile food pantry program, but this is another way that we can get fresh food into people’s hands,” Kooi said.
Pastor Jerry Bishop with LifeQuest Ministries says the program will make an impact in the community.
“I’m so grateful that now we’re able to expand on our service offering to one of the most underinvested areas in our entire city, so for us it’s like Christmas has come early,” Bishop said.
The program is planning to expand to additional cities in West Michigan, including Muskegon and Muskegon Heights.