GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Construction of Kids' Food Basket’s new 27,000-square-foot building is almost complete and staff will soon begin moving in.
Before that can happen though, officials say they need volunteers and donations.
Bridget Clark Whitney, founding CEO of Kids' Food Basket, says they have currently raised $7.3 million, $300,000 short of their $7.5 million goal.
Clark Whitney says donations are critical in finishing the project, located at 1919 Leonard Street NE near Plymouth Avenue in Grand Rapids, she says will feed nearly 15,000 children every day.
“It’s so incredibly important that we expand Kids' Food Basket to be able to meet the needs of those 14 schools on our waiting list and be able to continue to grow,” Clark Whitney said. “This building, right here, will be allow us to serve up to 15,000 healthy, nourishing meals each and every weekday.”
Currently, Kids' Food Basket serves nearly 6,000 meals from their Kent County location, but with such a massive need in Kent County Clark Whitney says it’s their obligation to do more.
“That’s a big number I know, but we’re only serving 21 percent of the need and we can do better,” Clark Whitney said. “We know we have a responsibility to expand and we will.”
Clark Whitney says Kids' Food Basket has found creative ways to curb hunger in West Michigan. One of those ways is by growing some of their own produce.
The building rests on 10 acres of centennial farmland that will continue to be cultivated, and volunteers are needed.
“Starting as early as May we will need people out here to help us farm this land,” Clark Whitney said. “We will be able to show the kids where fresh fruit and veggies come from and even show them how to grow them right here, every day.”
Construction is scheduled to be finished around August. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in September and meals will be served from the new location in time for next school year.
For more information on how you can get involved, check out Kids' Food Basket’s website.