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Board Members & History

Kids’ Food Basket Board

Board Chair

Keith Rothstein, Meijer

Vice President
Jessie Jones, Spectrum Health

Treasurer / Chief Financial Officer
Mary Command, Williams Group

Jon Siebers, Rhoades McKee

Mary K. Hoodhood

Board Members

Kyle Caldwell, Council of Michigan Foundations
Mario Cascante, Luna Restaurant Group
Jerry Johnson, Grand Valley State University
Bob Kaser, Grand Rapids Griffins
Brian Kraus, Amway
Phalesha Kyes, West Michigan Partnership for Children
Bill McGee, Huntington Bank
Rodney Savage, Great Lakes Kingdom Ministry
Paula Schuiteman-Bishop, Spectrum Health

Muskegon Advisory Board

Lisa Tyler – Chair
Rodney Savage –Vice Chair
Will Osmun
Cathleen Dubault
Linda Vines
Trynette Lottie-Harps
Sherry Torz
Brent Warren
Gary Allore
Tony Laskowicz
Mike Poulin
Sarah Smith

Holland Advisory Board

Bree Austin-Roberts
Adriana Binaku
Scott Brooks
Penny Bursma
Melanie Downing
Veronica Garcia
Merri-Lou Morehead
Anne Nemschoff
Steve O’Connor
Anne Porter
Deb Ralya
Jessica Rodriguez-Garza
Paula Schuiteman-Bishop
Dan Sorek
Carolyn Stich
Lisa Uganski
Tracy Umbenhour
Nathaniel Volkema
Cindi Welton
Vicki Zylstra


The Ambassador Committee is a great leadership volunteer opportunity that came about in response to the growth Kids’ Food Basket was experiencing with outreach requests in our community. This committee has played a critical role in the development of new relationships in the community while helping to steward those relationships that already exist. Our hope is by creating a select group of individuals to serve as a link between Kids’ Food Basket and the community; together we can increase awareness of childhood hunger, enhance resources, and foster community stewardship.

To inquire for our Grand Rapids location, contact Tera Griesmer. For Muskegon, contact Stephanie Kerr Cathey, and for our Ottawa/Allegan location contact Allison Guffey.

This committee seeks to create and foster deeper relationships with schools, families, and children we serve. Committee members will be trained in KFB’s equity, diversity, and inclusion messaging and will represent KFB in the communities we serve.

Contact julie@kidsfoodbasket.org to inquire.

The Finance Committee provides review and approval of the financials, annual budget and the external audit. The Committee also provides financial planning and brings financial or ethical concerns to the Board of Directors.

Contact christine@kidsfoodbasket.org to inquire.

Collaborates with Kids’ Food Basket Development staff to engage new potential financial donors with the mission of Kids’ Food Basket.

Contact ashleyd@kidsfoodbasket.org or afton@kidsfoodbasket.org to inquire.

Community-based leadership council that provides valuable insight and advice to staff, advocates for the mission through outreach, volunteer generation, and fundraising. Assist staff with stewardship of volunteers and donors.

Contact Allison Guffy to inquire.

Committee members will act as a liaison between schools, faith communities, and the community at large, sharing the mission of Kids’ Food Basket and encouraging engagement and support in both donor and volunteer based activities.

Contact julie@kidsfoodbasket.org to inquire.

Community based leadership council that provides valuable insight and advice to staff, advocates for the mission through outreach, volunteer generation and fundraising.

Contact Stephanie Kerr Cathey to inquire.

Review processes within all three Kids’ Food Basket locations and apply improvement methods to eliminate waste in activities and streamline processes.

Contact Austin@kidsfoodbasket.org to inquire.

The Procurement Committee is continuously seeking vendor diversification and alternative food sources to provide nutritious foods for the Sack Supper program. This committee also focuses on driving down the cost of existing non-food items.

Contact Austin@kidsfoodbasket.org to inquire.

Our Founder

In 2001, Mary K. Hoodhood first heard from a Grand Rapids Public School principal who witnessed some of her students digging through the trash for food to take home for dinner.

“I’m thinking, ‘What is going on? If these kids aren’t being fed, we need to call child protective services,’” Hoodhood recalls. “Then I find out it’s not abuse or neglect. It’s parents who have no money for food.

“I thought, ‘We gotta feed these kids.’”

In response to the story, Hoodhood, a long-time advocate, set into motion a community response that endures today: Kids’ Food Basket.

Before Kids’ Food Basket, Hoodhood spent more than 20 years with God’s Kitchen, first as a volunteer, then as an employee, coordinating drivers for the Meals on Wheels program and instituting several other programs to help people in need, from grocery deliveries for those with disabilities to nursing visits for shut-ins.

She also has a bachelor’s degree in education and earned a master’s degree in social work and specialized in program development.

Read more about our founder.

Growing Together

A grassroots nonprofit organization, Kids’ Food Basket began in 2002 by serving 125 kids every weekday at three schools through our Sack Supper program. Sack Suppers provide a well-rounded nutritious evening meal for children who might otherwise go without.

Through the can-do spirit of West Michigan, the concept caught on. An average of 250 local volunteers come together to feed children affected by hunger each day.

Today, our organization now serves approximately 8,200 kids at 49 sites in Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.

See more about our future.

Our History


Kids’ Food Basket began serving 125 meals at three schools in Grand Rapids in response to an unmet need. The organization was founded to provide a direct service – nutritious, ready-to-eat meals – to the 1 in 5 local children affected by hunger.


Kids’ Food Basket made its first major move from Monroe Ave to Butterworth Street, and, with a larger space, began serving more children.


With the help of LEAN experts and many passionate community members, Kids’ Food Basket grew to serve over 2,500 students a day, a 1900% increase.


What a big year! Kids’ Food Basket moved its headquarters to its current rented property at 2055 Oak Industrial Drive, met President Obama to accept an award for our founder, Mary K. Hoodhood, and won the Governor’s Service Award for Volunteer Program of the year!


Kids’ Food Basket opened our first satellite location, growing our community solution to childhood hunger to the Muskegon community!


Thanks to our community, Kids’ Food Basket won two big awards: Grand Rapids’ Area Chamber of Commerce EPIC Award for Nonprofit of the Year and MiBiz’s Best Managed Nonprofit Award for Excellence in Fundraising.


Kids’ Food Basket opened our newest satellite location in Holland, bringing our community-wide solution to childhood hunger to a third West Michigan county!


We announced our new strategic plan and celebrated the milestone of serving over 1,000,000 meals in one school year in West Michigan!


We began the Feeding Our Future campaign to raise funds for our new headquarters to expand our services and launch the Urban Farm program.


We broke ground at our new Grand Rapids headquarters and began building.