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?

Thousands of West Michigan children are food insecure - they can't count on having access to good, nourishing food every day. 1 in 5 kids in West Michigan is affected by hunger. According to Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap 2015, the following numbers are based on 2013 child food insecurity data by county & congressional district:

  • In Kent County, approximately 25,470 children are food insecure or 16.1%
  • In Muskegon County, approximately 8,870 children are food insecure or 21.4%
  • In Ottawa County, approximately 9,590 children are food insecure or 14.0%

Map the Meal Gap is a community level analysis directly related to the need for food.  The analysis estimates food insecurity at a county and congressional district level.  The data reflects major known determinants of the need for food, such as unemployment and poverty. The model estimates food insecurity by examining the relationship between food insecurity and unemployment, poverty and other factors.  

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 30% 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 18 cents per pound. 40% of the food provided comes from area grocery stores or food vendors. The other 30% is received through food drives and the generous support of our community.

How is Kids' Food Basket funded?

A Sack Supper costs approximately $1.00 and Kids' Food Basket is one hundred percent charitably funded by the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations and community organizations. Kids' Food Basket does not receive any funds from Federal, State, County or City Governments. Funds raised are designated to their respective Kids' Food Basket programs. Click here to learn more about the Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland locations. 

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, nearly 250 volunteers join us at Kids' Food Basket headquarters to pack and deliver Sack Suppers -- it is truly a community effort!