GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has awarded grants to 37 food pantries throughout the state, including several in West Michigan.

“These grants will allow these local food pantries to provide nutrient-rich fresh food options to community members — things that require refrigeration. We all know those types of food are really important for people of all ages,” said Shannon Carney Oleksyk of BCBS.

Thirty-seven food pantries will receive a refrigeration unit.

The contribution totals $156,000 and is an provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Cross Complete of Michigan and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

The following West Michigan locations will be receiving awards:

  • Fuller Ave. Food Pantry, Grand Rapids
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities West Michigan, Grand Rapids
  • West Michigan Veterans Assistance Program, Grand Rapids
  • Calvary Food Pantry, Fruitport
  • Catholic Community Center, Benton Harbor

“These food pantries serve community members in need. Often, they operate on a very small budget. Infrastructure investments, like refrigeration, are a large investment. They can range up to $7,000,” said Carney Oleksyk.