Frequently Asked Questions


What is food insecurity?

According to the Food Research and Action Center: "Food security is a term used to describe what our nation should be seeking for all its people – assured access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life, with no need for recourse to emergency food sources or other extraordinary coping behaviors to meet basic food needs. In a nation as affluent as ours this is a readily achievable goal. Food insecurity refers to the lack of access to enough food to fully meet basic needs at all times due to lack of financial resources. There are different levels of food insecurity."

How big of a problem is childhood food insecurity?

According to areport by the USDA in 2008, 16.7 million children in the United States are living in food insecure households. According to the Food Research and Action Center, the Grand Rapids metropolitan area has a food hardship rate of 19.4%, ranking it 34th among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. That's higher than Detroit (18.8%) and Chicago (17.4%).

How are the children who receive Sack Suppers identified?

School officials provide Kids' Food Basket with the number of children at their site that they know are living in food insecure households. Often, children self-report that they have not eaten since yesterday at school. In addition, teachers, nurses and social workers recognize the signs of poor nutrition, which include listlessness, low energy, below normal growth, pale complexion, circles under their eyes and poor concentration.

Where does Kids' Food basket get Sack Supper items?

About 40% of the food provided in the Sack Supper is obtained from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank (formerly Second Harvest Gleaners). Their food items are 16 cents per pound. 30% of the food provided comes from area grocery stores or food vendors. For example, all of the bread for Sack Supper sandwiches is donated by Bimbo Bakeries. The other 30% is received through food drives and the generous support of our community.

How is Kids' Food Basket funded?

Kids' Food Basket does not receive any funds from Federal, State, County or City Governments. We receive monies through grants from local foundations, local businesses, individuals, and community organizations. 

How does work get done at Kids' Food Basket?

Kids' Food Basket has a small paid staff, including executive director Bridget Clark Whitney, who has been with the organization since its inception in 2002. Click here to meet the whole team. In addition to our staff, Kids' Food Basket is guided by an active and amazing founder, Mary K. Hoodhood, and a supportive board. The growth of Kids' Food Basket could not have happened without the energy and support of thousands of volunteers. Every day, over 175 volunteers join us at Kids' Food Basket headquarters to pack and deliver Sack Suppers -- it is truly a community effort!