Feeding America West Michigan announces 40th year, honors 40 faces

Founded in 1981, the food bank now serves 40 counties

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich., Jan. 7, 2021 — 2021 marks Feeding America West Michigan’s 40th year nourishing communities alongside hundreds of partners and thousands of donors and volunteers. This will be a year of reflection, education and, through a special story series called 40 Years 40 Faces, will honor people who have contributed to the fight against hunger over the last four decades.

Each 40 Years 40 Faces story will be shared on social media (@feedingwestmich) and on the food bank’s website (FeedWM.org/40-years) throughout the year. The series will feature staff – like our longest tenure executive director, John Arnold and current CEO, Kenneth Estelle – and board members, volunteers, farmers, donors and others who have been part of the food bank’s ongoing journey toward a hunger-free community. Anyone can share their own story or nominate someone else for a chance to be included in the series.

Image of Rev. Don EddyThe first face to be featured is Rev. Donald Eddy. In early 1980, he 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. A year later, on April 23, 1981, the food bank formed.

Those small beginnings have culminated in the food bank’s current network of more than 900 partners that serve 40 counties across West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

In addition to the story series, the food bank will release a historical timeline and photo album. The food bank welcomes the public to submit photo(s) to be included.

“We are excited to share about the food bank’s 40-year journey and honor some of the many people who have been a part of our story,” said the food bank’s President and CEO Kenneth Estelle. “Our partners and supporters have made and continue to make our work possible.”

About Feeding America West Michigan

Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims millions of meals’ worth of safe, surplus food from various sources. With the help of countless volunteers, the food bank sorts, stores and distributes this food through a network of more than 900 partners to fill hundreds of thousands of neighbors’ plates instead of landfills. The food bank’s service area consists of 40 of Michigan’s 83 counties from the Indiana border north through the Upper Peninsula. For more information, visit FeedWM.org or call 616-784-3250.