During this time, a lot of people are struggling with uncertainty, but for many families across West Michigan the struggle has been there before this crisis began. We’re talking about the 1 in 5 kids in West Michigan who face food insecurity.
During the month of March, Kids’ Food Basket usually raises awareness about that reality through their Go Orange campaign, but with all that's happening now those efforts look different this year. Kids’ Food Basket is now in emergency response mode, and, in the first week of school closures, they were able to serve over 33,000 meals distributed to 68 different sites. The reality is, a virus doesn't stop hunger.
So, how can you raise awareness today?
You can do something as simple as wearing orange today! Take a picture and post it using the hashtag #kfbgoorange.
They also have created a kit on their website that has all different activities you can do at home, such as cooking with an orange twist. It’s all to raise awareness for a very important cause and the work they do.
“Amidst really difficult times, people show up,” said Bridget Clark Whitney, president and CEO of Kids’ Food Basket. "Crisis tends to bring out the best in humanity, and our kids need West Michigan's best, and we have certainly seen it.
"People are extremely generous. People are digging deep to reach out to their communities, to be good neighbors, to care for one another during this pandemic. This is a huge opportunity to to build tenacity and grit and see what it is that you have that you can share. What are the resources that we have that we can share with the world? I think that when things are at their worst, it gives us an opportunity to be at our best, and we have seen that time and time again."
PNC Bank has been a big supporter and sponsor of Go Orange, and PNC regional director Sean Welsh said it’s obvious why the work getting done at Kids’ Food Basket is important.
“It’s more important now than ever, and, and I think it's probably fairly obvious to most of us," Walsh said. "These kids arrive at school looking for nutrition, and Kids’ Food Basket gives them that sack supper every night, so when they go home and are doing their homework, they have that nutrition to be successful."
"With the schools closed, we need to step in and we need to make sure we are taking care of these kids," Walsh noted.
Today also happens to be Bridget’s 40th birthday, and she started a virtual dance party challenge for families to take part in. All you have to do is record a 40-second dance video, nominate a friend, and use the #bustamoveforkfb to share the video while making a donation to Kids’ Food Basket!
To help Kids’ Food Basket to continue to do the work they do, especially during this pandemic you can simply text to give by texting KFB to 56651.