The Inside Scoop | What We've Been Up To

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

At Kids' Food Basket, we move a mile a minute. We have to. The work we are doing doesn't stop; hunger doesn't stop. With nearly 50,000 kids combined in Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties struggling with hunger, we are constantly motivated and moving to get them the nutrition they need to learn and live well.

Kids in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Holland deserve for us to do everything we can to provide them with a Sack Supper. Below are just a few of the ways we've been working on accomplishing that lately. These are the things that are "buzzing" around Kids' Food Basket - what you'll hear our staff talking about, typing about, and passionately working on if you peeked inside of their offices.

Holland: We are busy at work laying a strong foundation to launch our Holland location from this spring. To read all about our plans, click here

Go Orange Day: If you've visited us on Facebook or Twitter lately, you've seen Mr. Orange visiting our community partners and friends across Grand Rapids, raising awareness for Go Orange Week (March 23-27). To see how you can participate, click here.

Newsletter: Our Spring newsletter is hitting mailboxes this week! Didn't get a copy? Make sure you sign up here. This edition of the Sack Supper Sentinel focuses on the many faces and hands behind each and every Sack Supper. Read it here

Feast for Kids: Our annual fundraiser in collaboration with the American Culinary Federation of the Greater Grand Rapids Chef's Association showcases some of the best food Grand Rapids has to offer during a night of fun that includes a silent auction and the very popular "Balloon Bonanza." This year, the celebration will take place on May 5th, beginning at 5:30PM. We are now accepting accepting in-kind donations for the silent auction as well as table and event sponsors. To read more about Feast for Kids or sign up for the fun (and food!), click here

Strategic Planning: We can't believe that we're almost at the end of our Strategic Plan for FY2011-2015! It's been a wild ride, and we can't wait to share with you what we hope to accomplish between now until 2020! We've got some good ideas brewing. 

Keep connected with us and what's happening in the attack on childhood hunger by signing up for our e-news. Just click the button below!

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Go Orange Week 2015!

Monday, March 02, 2015

My name is Jane Newton and I am a graduate student of communications at GVSU. I have had the privilege of working with Kids’ Food Basket in preparation for Go Orange Day (Friday, March 27!) as part of my graduate coursework this winter. 

My first interaction with Kids’ Food Basket was when I was unemployed for five months after graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in December 2010. Finding effective, meaningful ways to fill my time while applying for an endless number of jobs was more difficult than I had anticipated. Most volunteer opportunities required a consistent time commitment and an orientation that was only offered certain times of the year. Without knowing when or where I’d get a job, I was unable to volunteer with many organizations.

At the time I lived close to Kids’ Food Basket. I called one morning to ask if there was anything I could do for them that day.“Yes! We always have things for volunteers to do, come on in!" was the enthusiastic response I received. That afternoon, and several subsequent afternoons, I was able to volunteer and think about something other than being unemployed.

Eventually, I decided to pursue my Master's degree. When it came time for me to look for a final project to complete, Kids’ Food Basket was at the top of my list, not only because of the critical role it plays for children in our community, but also because they use volunteers in such diverse ways. 

Working on Go Orange Day with the Kids’ Food Basket team has taught me a few things: 

  • The importance of good, nutritious food for everyone, especially children. So many children in our community are hungry and need Sack Suppers. 1 in every 4 kids might not know from where, or if, their next meal will come. We often think of hunger as a “third world problem," but in reality, it’s right in our neighborhoods.
  • The importance of volunteering and community engagement. Volunteers and the communities in which they operate are the lifeline of nonprofits. Kids' Food Basket's uses more than 200 volunteers a day between their two locations in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, and they'll need even more when they open Holland this spring. Volunteers play such a critical role in ensuring kids in our community get the nutrition they need!
  • That donations matter. Kids’ Food Basket uses every single dollar donated as efficiently as possible. This is so important, because every $1 = 1 Sack Supper! 
  • Not to sweat the small stuff. It’s really easy to forget what’s important when coworkers aren’t on top of their game or a home improvement project doesn’t go as planned or an unexpected car repair comes up. Working on initiatives like Go Orange Day to raise awareness for the 1 in 4 kids in our community who is affected by hunger put a lot of things in perspective for me.

Celebrate Go Orange Day with Kids' Food Basket and I this year, and help to raise awareness for the 1 in 4 Michigan kids who is affected by hunger! Click here to see a list of ways you can get involved, and stay tuned this week using #KFBGoOrange as Kids' Food Basket begins to spread the word in a variety of fun and unique ways!

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