MUSKEGON, Mich — Hamburger Mikey is raising money to fight childhood hunger and helping local businesses at the same time.
This summer, the popular restaurant decided to pay it forward after receiving an outpouring of support during the pandemic.
"During COVID, everybody came out to support the restaurant and I thought, what can we do to give back?," explained Tim Taylor, the managing partner of Hamburger Mikey. "I know that in the community we have, you know, struggles with kids going home hungry, finding different activities at school just to find a meal. And you know, it's sad."
The restaurant chose Kids' Food Basket as the recipient of a summer food drive and fundraising campaign.
After receiving donated picnic tables from the city, Taylor and the team at Hamburger Mikey sold placemat-sized ads to local businesses for $100 each-- with 100% of the proceeds going to Kids' Food Basket.
Customers also chipped in by bringing in food items in exchange for half a pound of the restaurant's award-winning fries.
"The response from the community, bringing in food, we had truckloads of food coming in to be dropped off, on top of we raised $5,000 in cash for [Kids' Food Basket]."
It's not the first time Hamburger Mikey has helped the community.
Taylor also partners with local businesses, using a product they are known for to create a "Burger of the Month".
There's also a feature "Dawg", raising awareness of local businesses and organizations, like the current YMCA hot dog.
"It shows camaraderie between us local businesses, showing that all the restaurants don't dislike each other," explained Taylor."It's to show unity, show support throughout this time... it's great to have other businesses to have that camaraderie, [it] helps only make your town better."
Hamburger Mikey plans to begin another food drive for Kids' Food Basket in October.
"It's all about having great food, great customer service, but really comes down to giving back," said Taylor. "Business is business, but coming from the heart, giving back is just the best thing. Most rewarding."