In 2021, the pandemic continued, and our food bank faced new challenges as we worked to put nourishing food on neighbors’ plates. But even in tough times, our community stepped up and supported neighbors in incredible ways. To anyone who volunteered, gave financially or partnered with us in another way, we want to extend a special thank you. Your dedication meant we could provide millions of meals’ worth of food to neighbors in need!
2021 was a year of great successes, but the year also brought new challenges as inflation and supply chain issues took hold. These issues, combined with a reduction in donated food, have meant we’ve needed to purchase far more food than usual, a trend we project will continue in future years. But despite this, we’re proud to say we can still provide four meals for every dollar donated!
Inflation and the rising cost of living also caused—and continues to cause—new challenges for many community members in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. More neighbors have sought food assistance, and some of our hunger-relief partners say they’ve had more first-time clients visit their programs than during the height of the pandemic.
Crises like these are unavoidable, and as a food bank, we constantly need to pivot in order to serve our neighbors appropriately. We’re so glad our new-to-us facility, located at 3070 Shaffer SE in Kentwood, will solve challenges we’re experiencing at our current facility. It will also enable us to expand offerings, strengthen partnerships and increase equity of service across our 40-county service area. This new building will change the trajectory of hunger-relief efforts in our community!
Again, we want to thank those in our community who supported our mission last year. Together, we can ensure neighbors across our community can access nourishing food during tough times.