1. Mel Trotter Ministries is providing a festive Christmas meal a few days early to people in need this holiday season.
Today, the meal is open to everyone, taking place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 225 Commerce Avenue SW in downtown Grand Rapids.
It's entirely free for those who may be experiencing hunger or homelessness.
A full meal will be served, and then attendees will have the option to watch a Christmas movie. Gifts will be given out as well.
2. It's no secret groceries have gotten more expensive this year. When it comes to trimming the fat on your Christmas meal, experts say there are a few ways to cut down on costs.
One example is to make a shopping list, and stick to it! Also, look for sale items and use coupons to save money.
They also suggest changing up the menu to include cheaper side items and making the meals a potluck so everyone contributes.
3. The Harbor Humane Society in Ottawa County is planning a Pop-Up Pet Food Pantry ahead of the Christmas and new year's holidays.
Their goal is to ensure every family has the means to care for their pets.
It runs from 2-5 p.m. and will be drive-thru style. Any questions can be asked online at harborhumane.org or by calling (616)-399-2119.
4. Will federal student loan payments remain on hold? The Biden Administration will have those answers this week.
The spokesperson for the department of education says an announcement will be made this week on whether to extend the payment pause and interest waiver.
The extension would apply to most federal student loan borrowers. It was set to expire at the end of January.
5. Your DNA could actually determine whether or not you take your coffee black. A recent study in the journal, Nature's Scientific, reports people born with a quicker caffeine metabolism to prefer black coffee.
This means that it's not so much they like the bitter taste, but instead, want strong coffee because of its higher caffeine content. The same people tend to prefer dark chocolate, possibly for the same reason.
In the study, those who have a genetic marker associated with a higher sensitivity to caffeine were more likely to add cream and sugar.
Researchers hope the study will further their understanding of the health benefits associated with both coffee and dark chocolate.