Raise a glass, solve hunger at Brewery Vivant, Oct. 13

Brewery Vivant will donate 25 percent of sales to Feeding America West Michigan on Oct. 13.

Brewery Vivant will donate 25 percent of sales to Feeding America West Michigan on Oct. 13.

October 6, 2014 — Grand Rapids, Michigan — On Monday, Oct. 13, Brewery Vivant will donate 25 percent of all pub sales to Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank. Each pint sold will send at least five meals to people in need in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

The Food Bank hopes to generate enough support on the 13th to send out 4,000 meals. Brewery Vivant has underwritten a total of 8,800 meals during past events.

This month, patrons of Brewery Vivant can sample a variety of fall-themed brews including an “autumnal ale” collaboration with Rockford Brewing, a molasses stout and a brand-new pumpkin ale, alongside flagship beers like Farm Hand, Triomphe and Big Red Coq. The pub menu is sourced largely from local farmers and reflects the changing seasons.

Brewery Vivant is located at 925 Cherry Street SE in Grand Rapids. The pub is open from 3 to 11 p.m. on Mondays.

Million Meal March raises $22,200 for local families

A group of hikers taking part in the Million Meal March on the White Pine Trail, Sept. 27, 2014.

A group of hikers taking part in the Million Meal March on the White Pine Trail, Sept. 27, 2014.

Food Bank CEO Ken Estelle, right, stands with operations manager Chad DeVries and Chad's daughters Taylor and Madelyn.

Food Bank CEO Ken Estelle, right, stands with operations manager Chad DeVries and Chad’s daughters Taylor and Madelyn.

Comstock Park, Michigan — September 29, 2014 — Hikers, bikers, runners, and walkers raised $22,200 for Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank at the Million Meal March on Saturday, Sept. 27. The total, which got a boost from contributions by National Food Group, Star Truck Rentals, Metro Health and other sponsors, will provide nearly 89,000 meals to people in need in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

The family-friendly event drew 176 participants, who hiked a 10-kilometer route along the White Pine Trail, beginning at Feeding America West Michigan’s Comstock Park headquarters.

“The weather was just impeccable,” said CEO Ken Estelle. “We were encouraged that so many people chose to spend part of this beautiful day taking a stand for the hungry in West Michigan.”

Music for the event was performed by local string band Hawks and Owls and DJ Keller Shaw, while Cyril Catering, The Corner Bar of Rockford, Country Fresh, Heeren Brothers Produce, Coca-Cola and Pepsi provided food and refreshments.

Donations to the Million Meal March may be made through Sept. 30 on CrowdRise.com.

The hike began at 10 a.m. at Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.

The hike began at 10 a.m. at Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.

Hikers start off on the White Pine Trail toward Belmont.

Hikers start off on the White Pine Trail toward Belmont.

This year's t-shirts were designed by Lansing-based company Live Love Michigan.

This year’s t-shirts were designed by Lansing-based company Live Love Michigan.

Food Bank invites community to kick hunger at Million Meal March 10K hike

September 17, 2014 — Comstock Park, Michigan — Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank is inviting the public to raise money and kick hunger on Sept. 27, at the Million Meal March, a 10K hike on the White Pine Trail.

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Now in its third year, the Million Meal March was created with a single goal: to raise $238,000 and distribute 1 million meals to people in need in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. To date, the 10K and related events have raised more than $200,000. Organizers are asking for strong support from the community this year in order to meet that million-meal goal.

“Hunger is an issue right here in our community, and I believe the answer has to come from this community as well,” said Ken Estelle, CEO of Feeding America West Michigan.

“The March is an opportunity for ordinary people to get involved in making a real difference in the lives of their neighbors in need.”

Every dollar donated to the Food Bank through the Million Meal March is used to provide four meals to people living on the edge of hunger in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. A report released last month estimates that 492,000 people receive food from the organization each year, including approximately 119,400 children and 58,200 seniors.

“The truth is that for a large portion of our society, the economic recovery is still just a political talking point. We’ve got thousands of people looking for work and thousands more working two, sometimes three part-time jobs to get by,” Estelle said.

Participants are encouraged to raise $100, the equivalent of 400 meals) for Feeding America West Michigan, although the event is free to attend. The first 500 hikers will receive a free t-shirt, and The Corner Bar, Country Fresh and Cyril Catering will provide lunch at the Food Bank following the event. A shuttle is available at the halfway point for those who prefer to hike a 5K distance.

To register or donate, visit MillionMealMarch.org.

Hunger Action Week addresses malnutrition in Kent County

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Lyn Carey from Alliance For Health completes the sentence "I fight hunger because..." in her #paperplateselfie.

Lyn Carey from Alliance For Health completes the sentence “I fight hunger because…” in her #paperplateselfie.

September 10, 2014 — Grand Rapids, Michigan — Several Grand Rapids-area hunger-relief organizations are coming together for Hunger Action Week, Sept. 14-20, a series of events whose mission is to educate West Michigan about the reality of local hunger and provide practical ways to get involved.

“We live in one of the most prosperous communities in Michigan. We shouldn’t be content to let anyone to go hungry,” said Emma Garcia, hunger response director for Access of West Michigan and a Hunger Action Week coordinator.

One in seven Kent County residents is struggling with hunger, yet “hunger” can be a misleading term. For most people in West Michigan, finding calories isn’t a problem. The challenge is finding good nutrition.

“Unfortunately, we have a food system that promotes cheap, high-calorie foods over food that is actually nourishing,” Garcia said. “American hunger could really be described as malnutrition. It’s a serious health risk.”

According to a recent study by Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, 64.6 percent of Food Bank clients in Kent County resort to purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food in order to stretch their limited budgets. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that more than a quarter also list their health status as “poor” and that more than a third have a household member with diabetes.

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With events like a hunger simulation at the YMCA, a screening of HBO’s “The Weight of the Nation” and a Healthy Food Cook-Off and Kids’ Fair hosted by United Church Outreach Ministry and Kids’ Food Basket, Hunger Action Week will present both the problem and an array of practical solutions.

“So many great things are already happening to change the situation in Grand Rapids,” Garcia said. “This is about showing people how they can be a part of the solution.”

More information about Hunger Action Week can be found at Facebook.com/HungerActionWeek and Twitter.com/hunGRyweek.

Hunger Action Week is coordinated by the following members of Kent County’s Food and Nutrition Coalition: Access of West Michigan, Catholic Charities West Michigan, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, Grand Valley State University Women’s Center, Kids’ Food Basket and United Church Outreach Ministry.

 

Events Calendar

All Week:
Post a #paperplateselfie on Facebook or Twitter. Visit Facebook.com/HungerActionWeek to learn more.
Paper Plate Project on display at Access of West Michigan food pantries.

September 16:
“The Weight of the Nation: Challenges” screening and panel discussion. A documentary examining food insecurity and health in the U.S. 7 p.m., Grand Valley State University Pew Campus, Room 136/138E DeVos Center, Grand Rapids, MI.

September 17:
Hunger Simulation. A chance to put yourself in the shoes of someone facing hunger. 7-8:30 p.m., YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, David D. Hunting Branch, 475 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids, MI.

September 18:
Healthy Food Cook-Off and Kids’ Fair. Learn how to make delicious meals on a small budget. 5 p.m., United Church Outreach Ministry, 1311 Chicago Drive SW, Wyoming, MI.