GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The pandemic and recent gun violence have particularly hit hard the area’s Black community. The NAACP of Greater Grand Rapids is having an event to help make a change.

The NAACP says it’s speaking to the direct needs of the community and helping those who might be experiencing some changes in their employment.

In a partnership with Feeding America, Spectrum Health, Metro Health and the YMCA, it will feed more than 200 families, provide free COVID-19 testing, help people complete the census and register to vote.

It will all take place from 3 p.m. to 7 pm at the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation, located on Madison Avenue SE between Burton and Hall streets.

The NAACP said the need is greater than ever for change, saying that last year it partnered on only two food distributions, whereas in 2020, this is already the fifth with possibly more to come.

The group says economic investment into the city’s 3rd Ward on the southeast side is one of the primary roads forward.

“A lot of these issues aren’t anything new, they’re just being heightened now,” said Kareem Scales, administrator of operations for the NAACP of Greater Grand Rapids. “There isn’t one answer to that, but I would say really being more intentional about tackling the economic issues that our community has faced with would have to be one of the top ways to do that.”

For more information, visit or call 616.719.3478.