GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Nearly 900 families were served at Thursday's monthly food distribution event held in the parking lot of the Kent County Human Services complex.
Community Action Kent County typically holds food distribution events quarterly throughout the year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant jump in the number of families needing assistance.
“We're doing only a drive-up distribution today because of the COVID pandemic and we're trying to be as cautious as possible,” said Susan Cervantes, director of Community Action Kent County.
The group has been holding the events every month since March.
Organizers say that 894 families were served at Thursday's event, which ran from 9:00am until 1:00pm.
Cervantes said anyone who is a resident of Kent County and has a need for food is eligible for the program.
The process is quick and safe. Volunteers wearing personal protection gear load up the boxes of food into your trunk after waiting in line.
Student athletes from the Ottawa Hills football team were on hand Thursday to assist in loading up cars.
“It’s a big thing, as a part of setting the foundation for our value systems and getting the kids to be selfless,” said Christian Verley, head coach at Ottawa Hills.
The students were of course getting some exercise in as they helped, but also took the opportunity to connect with their community members.
“It’s great to give back to community over something that some of them experienced in their home. And they know that the community experiences not having food," Verley said.
“So being able to provide some food assistance to them is just great and our kids are excited to do it.”
Another food distribution event will happen again in August, though a location, date and time has not yet been announced.
You can follow Community Action Kent County's Facebook page to be alerted when it is.