How you can help Kids’ Food Basket tackle childhood hunger

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) –- People wore orange Friday to raise awareness about a West Michigan organization tackling childhood hunger.

For the past 15 years, Kids’ Food Basket has been delivering sack suppers to schools so students don’t have to be hungry when they go home.

HUNGER HAPPENS HERE

One out of every five West Michigan children are affected by hunger, according to the nonprofit. In Kent County alone, 30,000 children are impacted.

“That’s like taking the Van Andel Arena and filling it up three times over… this is a huge issue,” said Kids’ Foods Basket Director Bridget Clark Whitney.

Whitney says by feeding these children, Kids’ Food Basket is eliminating a barrier of poverty.

“Hunger is both a symptom and a cause of poverty. And by providing healthy, good, nourishing evening meals each and every weekday, we can help kids succeed, both in school and in life,” she said.

Kids’ Food Basket serves 36 schools in Kent County and six schools between Holland and Muskegon, according to Whitney.

“All of our schools have over 70 percent of kids living in poverty, and so it’s really high need schools,” she added.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Kids’ Food Basket provides more than 7,500 meals every weekday throughout the school year and summer, which means they need a lot of food donations.

People who’d like to pitch in can find the organization’s culinary wish list on its website.

Or you can step up and help.

“Kids’ Food Basket needs our community to wrap their arms around this issue and come out to volunteer,” said Whitney.

She says volunteers can work as little as an hour a year.

People can also help from home by picking up some brown or white paper bags and dressing them up for each child.

“It’s a gift, it makes all the difference in the world. And so we encourage those bags to be decorated because it really means something to the kids that we’re serving,” said Whitney.

—-Online:Kids’ Food Basket

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