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Meijer Makes $2M Donation to Maximize Food Bank Space

Nourish Tomorrow Campaign aims to raise $6M for nonprofit’s food distribution efforts
Meijer
Photograph courtesy of Meijer

With food prices soaring, American families are struggling. And on May 4, President Joe Biden announcedthat for the first time in more than 50 years, the White House will host a conference on hunger, nutrition and health this September. 

“No one should have to wonder where their next meal will come from. We must take bold steps now—with government, the private sector, nonprofits and communities working together—to build a healthier future for every American,” Ambassador Susan Rice, domestic policy adviser, said in a May 4 statement from the White House.

And in Michigan that is exactly what Feeding America West Michigan is looking to do—thanks to a generous donation from Midwest grocer Meijer.

On May 17, Feeding America West Michigan launched its Nourish Tomorrowcampaign, a $6 million advancement campaign aimed to move the food bank’s headquarters and distribution center from Comstock Park to 3070 Shaffer Ave. SE in Kentwood, Mich.., because it current Comstock Park facility is operating beyond its functional capacity.

As a result, the food bank acquired a substantially larger facility in Kentwood last year and Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer is leading the fundraising efforts with a gift of $2 million.

“Feeding America West Michigan is a longtime partner of Meijer because every day, they support our mission to feed our neighbors facing hunger,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said in a statement. Keyes said it means so much to “us to be able to help them as they launch this campaign to better meet the community’s needs and expand their vital work.”

The food bank’s president and CEO, Kenneth Estelle, said Meijer has supported its work for more than 30 years. “They provide millions of pounds of food, donate semitrucks and give generous financial gifts like this one. Their clear commitment to our community has helped many of our neighbors during hard times,” Estelle said. “I am proud and honored to have a partner like Meijer working alongside us to ensure neighbors facing hunger can access the food they need to thrive.”

The new facility in Kentwood will enable the food bank to nearly double its food distribution to nourish more Michigan residents, according to a statement from Meijer. “They aim to increase annual distribution to 32.5 million meals’ worth of food by the five-year mark; the building will have a total capacity of 37.5 million meals annually,” Meijer said.

During a May 17 press conference at the Kentwood facility, Estelle said the Nourish Tomorrow campaign has raised $4.7 million over the past several months—78% of the campaign goal. To date, nearly 100 local donors, businesses and area foundations have supported the campaign, including the $2 million lead gift from Meijer, the Midwest grocer said in a statement.

“Today is a great day for celebration, but our work is not done,” said Amanda McVay, board chair of Feeding America West Michigan. “We’re calling on the community now to help us reach and exceed our goal. With your help, we can take this step toward a more nourished tomorrow.”

The nonprofit also recognized other generous donors and honorary chairs for their support, including campaign volunteers for leading this effort and the food bank’s board and staff for their dedication. The public was then invited to join in the fundraising effort that will continue through the end of the year at FeedWM.org/NourishTomorrow.

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