WYOMING, Mich. — A handful of players from the Grand Rapids Gold basketball team joined the folks from SpartanNash and Miller Poultry Friday to donate over 10,000 pounds of fresh meat to area food banks and pantries.
Behind a Wyoming-area Family Fare store, the players loaded 10,400 pounds of chicken and sausage into the trucks of nine different food banks and pantries — SECOM, Other Way Ministries, Community Food Basket, Family Network of Wyoming, UCOM, Northwest Food Pantry, Green Apple, Streams of Hope, and the Baxter Community Center.
“There's so many families in need... In fact, food insecurity is something that we face as a country, and especially here in Michigan. We have to make sure that we're supporting the people in our community,” Caitlin Gardner, communications manager with SpartanNash, told FOX 17 Friday.
“We want to make sure that not only the families in our community are getting what they need but they're feeling like they are getting a little back for the holiday season.”
SpartanNash also surprised the organizations with additional help for the holidays, handing out $2,500 worth of Family Fare gift cards to use.
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The gift card amounts varied from $100 all the way up to $1,000.
They distributed the cards in a pseudo-lottery fashion, having each group representative draw a number from a hat between one and nine. The groups then chose from an assortment of gift bags.
Bethany Johnson with Other Way Ministries ended up getting the single $1,000 card.
“We have been giving out so much food in our food pantry over the last year during the pandemic, and meat, especially chicken, is one of the biggest things that we need,” Johnson told FOX 17 after picking her card.
"We've seen an uptick in visits recently, I think with unemployment ending. So, there continues to be a need, even this deep in the pandemic."
All of the groups were thankful for the donations, saying they will go a long way in helping to make sure our neighbors don't go hungry this holiday season.