Our Work

Mobile Food Pantry facts

  • We provided 8.8 million meals’ worth of food through Mobile Pantries to nearly 700,000 individuals in 2023.
  • Mobile Pantries account for roughly 40% of the food we distribute annually.
  • We created this model in 1998 and it has since been adopted by food banks across the country.
  • In 2023, an average Mobile Pantry distribution consisted of 59% fresh produce, 16.2% dairy, 2.8% meat and 3.3% other protein; a true reflection of our commitment to providing nourishing food.

“There’s times where I would’ve gone without food if it weren’t for the food here.”

– Alice, senior neighbor

Gather 2 Grow facts

  • We served 27,500 meals in 2023 by partnering with 20 libraries in Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Muskegon and
    Newaygo counties.
  • This program is expanding in 2024 to include 11 counties with a total of 32 local libraries!
  • 10 meal options are provided which are all nut-free and include gluten-free and vegetarian choices in addition. Examples of meal choices include chicken salad, chips & cheese, tortilla sandwich, hummus, and more.

“It’s the best of both worlds because you get exposure to the library and books, and also get food. The books feed their brains and the food feeds their minds!”

– Stacy, mother of 3

As a regional food bank, we partner with over 800 hunger-relief organizations across our service area in order to get food directly into the hands of neighbors in need. The programs the food bank supports are diverse, but they share a common goal: to end hunger in our community.

The food bank has the ability to handle large quantities of food that our agency partners are unable to manage due to lack of space, equipment or staff. We gather food through rescue, purchase, the USDA and donations, then prepare and distribute it to our network of partners who give it directly to people experiencing food insecurity. Partnering with the food bank enhances our agency partners’ capacity to serve those in need.

Food pantries, youth programs and meal programs are three of our largest types of partner agency programs.

Food waste happens when perfectly good food is thrown away. Because of this, we prioritize saving good food that would otherwise be unnecessarily tossed in the trash – this is called food rescue. We partner with food manufacturers, grocery stores and farmers to keep quality food out of landfills.

Food waste is responsible for 8% of all global carbon emissions, making up most items in our landfills. Growing food requires lots of water, fuel, and fertilizer. By preventing food waste and rescuing food at risk of being discarded, we can lessen our environmental impact and ensure that resources are used to nourish communities.

Truck loading with rescued food