Feeding America West Michigan launches advancement campaign with $2M gift from Meijer

Rick Keyes (right), CEO of Meijer, announces the company's $2 million gift.

Campaign aims to raise $6M for new facility that will nearly double the nonprofit’s food distribution efforts.

Rick Keyes stands at a podium while Kenneth Estelle and Amanda McVay look on.
Rick Keyes (right), CEO of Meijer, announces the company’s $2 million gift.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI., May 17, 2022 — Feeding America West Michigan announced today Nourish Tomorrow — a $6 million advancement campaign — and a leading gift of $2 million from longtime supporter, Meijer. The fundraising effort aims to move the food bank’s headquarters and distribution center from Comstock Park to 3070 Shaffer Avenue, SE in Kentwood.

“I am overwhelmed by the amazing support Meijer provides,” said the food bank’s President and CEO Kenneth Estelle. “Meijer has supported our work for more than 30 years. They provide millions of pounds of food, donate semi-trucks and give generous financial gifts like this one. Their clear commitment to our community has helped many of our neighbors during hard times. I am proud and honored to have a partner like Meijer working alongside us to ensure neighbors facing hunger can access the food they need to thrive.”

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the public phase of the $6 million campaign.

Challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, and a continuing effort to provide more equitable service in all its 40 counties, pushed the food bank’s current Comstock Park facility to operate beyond its functional capacity. As a result, the food bank acquired a substantially larger facility in Kentwood last year.

However, this facility is not yet a food bank. Feeding America West Michigan is seeking charitable gifts from the community to:

  • Transform the warehouse into a food bank
  • Expand food rescue and programs for children and seniors
  • Increase equity of service by strengthening community partnerships

Ultimately, this facility will enable the food bank to nearly double its food distribution to nourish more Michigan residents. They aim to increase annual distribution to 32.5 million meals’ worth of food by the 5-year mark; the building will have a total capacity of 37.5 million meals annually.

“Feeding America West Michigan is a longtime partner of Meijer because every day, they support our mission to feed our neighbors facing hunger,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “It means so much to us to be able to help them as they launch this campaign to better meet the community’s needs and expand their vital work.”

Estelle announced today during a press conference at the Kentwood facility that the Nourish Tomorrow campaign has raised $4.7 million over the last several months — 78 percent of the campaign goal. To date, nearly 100 local donors, businesses and area foundations have supported the campaign, including the $2 million lead gift from Meijer.

“Today is a great day for celebration, but our work is not done,” said Feeding America West Michigan’s Board Chair Amanda McVay.  “We’re calling on the community now to help us reach and exceed our goal. With your help, we can take this step toward a more nourished tomorrow.”

The nonprofit also recognized other generous donors and honorary chairs for their support, including campaign volunteers for leading this effort and the food bank’s board and staff for their dedication. The public was then invited to join in the fundraising effort which will continue through the end of the year at FeedWM.org/NourishTomorrow.

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 700 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.

About Meijer
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 260 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer has a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit www.meijercommunity.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.