KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Back-to-school shopping can be frustrating for some parents and kids, but one mall in Kent County decided to make it fun for both. 

On Saturday, Woodland Mall invited kids and parents to come shopping with fun activities like face painting, balloon animals, princess visits and more. The event started at noon and the mall partnered with the Salvation Army in Kent County to raise funds and food donations for those in need. 

Victoria Arnold, the director of social services at the Salvation Army in Kent County, said she has seen an increase in families in the county using their food pantries. With school starting, she wants to keep their pantries full.

“We’ve seen a 150% increase and individuals coming into the food pantry since last year. So it’s really important for us to have enough food on hand to be able to provide,” Arnold said.

If you would like to donate food or funds to the Salvation Army — or if you need to use their resources — the pantry is open Monday through Friday in Kent County Social Services program hub.