In early 1980, Rev. Don Eddy saw a truckload of perfectly good carrots being composted on a farm in Grant. As director of United Methodist Metropolitan Ministries, he knew many people who faced hunger, so he asked the farmers to stop dumping them and said he could ensure the carrots got to families who could really use them.
This experience sparked an idea. So that year, he gathered together community members to discuss creating a West Michigan agency that would resemble Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit, which had been founded in 1977. A year later, in spring of 1981, West Michigan Gleaners (now Feeding America West Michigan) was formed.
Thanks to Don Eddy’s spark of inspiration, and the efforts of many others (39 of whom you’ll meet this year), the food bank is now helping neighbors across West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula access millions of pounds of food each year!