GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When Grand Rapids podcaster and radio personality Eric Zane saw lines of people waiting for food in a pandemic, he realized he wanted to help those going hungry.
"The idea came up because of seeing footage of lines for people waiting for food." Zane said. "I know Mel Trotter (Ministries) talked about the need for more food this year. It's been rough, and I had audience members who came up with the idea about doing something like this, so that all came together quite quickly, about 10 days ago, and that was about it."
Zane's initial goal was to raise enough for 40 Christmas dinners, but thanks for friends and fans of the show, he was able to more than double that goal.
"Everybody responded so quickly and so overwhelmingly that we quickly upped it to 100 Christmas dinners with a lot of extra revenue going toward kids' food basket," Zane said. "So one way or another, people in need will be fed."
Zane is feeling great after donating his kidney earlier this month, as he wants to continue to help people in Grand Rapids however he can.
"That's gone very well," Zane said regarding his recovery from his donation. "Outside of the initial handful of hours where I was very uncomfortable, that quickly subsided and then I got an idea of what we had accomplished and it was like so fantastic. And the person that I donated the kidney to is thriving and just full of energy, and I'm like, 'well, I'm glad because I have too much.' I'm just so happy about that."
While many Grand Rapids citizens won't be able to travel home for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Zane is hoping to provide those in need with some holiday favorites.
"Each box of food has a spiral ham, a bag of potatoes, the gravy, the corn, kings Hawaiian rolls and a pie. so that should be plenty," Zane said.
On Wednesday, Dec. 23, Zane will be giving away Christmas dinners as part of an event at Ervine's Auto Repair, located at 4311 Stafford Ave. SW, from 2-5 p.m. The idea is that those who need food can drive up and get it, no questions asked.
Another local organization, the Grand Rapids Pitbull Alliance will be at the event, giving away free pet food for people who are struggling to feed their pets too.
"The idea here was just if you can drive up, then we'll put the food in your car," Zane said. "Which is why it was so important to be able to have you guys out here, which is very appreciative, because the more people that know, the more people can be fed."