Mount Hope Church joins forces with Ionia County Community Foundation to fight hunger

Mount Hope Church hosts Feeding America West Michigan Mobile Food Pantries each year to serve their neighbors facing hunger in Ionia County. Generously sponsored by the Ionia County Community Foundation, these food distributions offer fresh produce, dairy, protein and other food items to community members in need.

Clients wait in line at the Mobile Food Pantry.

5,000 pounds of food were distributed at each of the four Mobile Pantries held this year – enough to provide 100 families with more than 40 meals worth of food at each distribution. But Chris Scrauben, Mount Hope’s Mobile Food Pantry coordinator, isn’t concerned about the numbers.

“We’re here in the community for a reason – to make a difference,” he said.

He stressed the importance of helping even just one family or one person in need.

“That impact on that one family is important,” he said. “They may be down to their last meal – you just never know.”

Mary and her three children are one of many families who benefit from the resource. She expressed appreciation for the food she receives and informed the church that she tells others about the Mobile Pantries whenever she learns that someone’s in need.

Mount Hope Church is eager to serve its neighbors. At times, nearly half of the church’s 100 members volunteer to distribute the food.

“It’s a pretty giving community. We’re just one more cog in the wheel that helps,” said Chris.

Volunteers smile at the camera as they wait to serve food.

When Mount Hope began hosting the Mobile Food Pantries, Chris was surprised to see people he knew waiting in line. Often, food insecurity isn’t overtly apparent. 1 in 8 neighbors face hunger in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, so it’s likely everyone knows someone in need of an extra meal.

“It’s nice to provide for them, and have everyone leave happy and get good quality food,” Chris said.

Feeding America West Michigan appreciates how eager the Ionia County community is to come together to help put food on their neighbors’ plates, and we’re happy to be a part of the effort to end hunger in Ionia County.