Support our food pantry at local food drives

Bounty received from last year’s Spartan Food Drive

Did you know that our Grace Food Pantry benefits from local food drives? The more we volunteer the more food we receive, including fresh produce and bottled juice, both favorites with pantry clients.  Free food for the food pantry means giving out more and buying less, freeing up money for items like meat.  We have the opportunity to participate in two food drives this spring, which will help us fill the pantry shelves.  We need volunteers to help us with both food drives.  Even if you are not a regular pantry volunteer, perhaps you could consider helping out in this way.  Contact Nancy Johnson for more information: or 231-668-9633, or use the sign-up sheets in The Commons.



Please consider giving the food drive a try.  We will be at the Olesons Long Lake on Cedar Run Road, which is the store where we purchase our monthly items for the food pantry.  They like us there, which is half the battle according to people working at a few of the other stores.  Olesons will provide chairs unlike some of the stores. Children are welcome and can participate.   This is a great way to increase volunteer requirements for school.  Don’t forget the proximity of That’s A Pizza, a great family place!  We really need you especially now that the number of our volunteers has decreased.  Give it a try!

The shifts are two hours long and your job will be to hand out flyers about the food drive and encourage people to spend $10 at the cash register (which Olesons translates into food for the pantry).  The amount of food that we receive will be dependent on the amount of time we put into this food drive.  We received several hundred dollars worth of food last year, including lots of fresh onions, potatoes and apples, among other items that are shelf-stable. We will also need volunteers with vans and/or station wagons to bring the food back to the pantry and unload it.

A few weeks after this food drive, the rest of the donated food will arrive at the Goodwill Warehouse on Aero Park Drive from the Spartan warehouse in Grand Rapids.  Del Johnson has already volunteered to help at the warehouse to operate the pallet lifter fork lift.  He gets all the fun!  We will again need volunteers with vans and/or station wagons to help transport the food to our pantry and unload it.  Last year, when we arrived at the warehouse to pick up our share of the bounty, we also received enough squeeze apple sauce for the kid bags to last a year (if you don’t know what a kid bag is, ASK!).  This is BIG and the more we give of our time, the more food we receive.



This is a national food drive with local participation and benefit, held traditionally the day before Mother’s Day. We will need at least 12 volunteers at the warehouse (probably the warehouse at the corner of Barlow and Airport Road).  There will be two shifts, 1 PM until 3:30 PM and 3:30 PM until closing.  Feel free to work both shifts!

We are also looking for a volunteer to drive a truck to the post offices to pick up incoming food as the postal trucks return to their home bases.  If you can drive a truck and are willing to do so, please let Nancy Johnson know (contact info above).

We will need a few volunteers to be at our pantry around 6 PM to accept the food and store it or mark it and shelve it.

Grace will be providing food at the warehouse for the volunteers.  Nancy Johnson has volunteered to make a huge batch of her Hi Pro Chili, already taste-tested and approved by pantry people at a coalition meeting.  If anyone has any bottled water, paper plates, etc. that you can donate, that too will be appreciated, but the chili should cover our food donation.  We expect about 100 volunteers in total, from a variety of local food pantries.  By the way, Nan Strickler is providing 25 bags of cookies for postal drivers along with other coalition members.  Thank you Nan and Nancy!

This is a great opportunity to help our pantry for people who cannot volunteer on a regular basis.  If you can help with this food drive, contact Nancy Johnson (contact info above).  Sign up sheets will be available in The Commons as of May 1.



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