Nearly 1,200 local organizations use the Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to provide food to an estimated 492,100 people every year. Photo by Mike Nichols
A nonprofit will use a grant it’s received from a transportation company to help it expand its reach farther north.
Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank in Comstock Park was one of 10 organizations across the country to be awarded a $10,000 grant from CSX and The Conservation Fund last month through the Healthy Food Transportation Grant Program.
The local nonprofit will use the grant to help fund the purchase of a new refrigerated straight truck to help it service the Upper Peninsula as part of its Mobile Food Pantry program.
The truck will help make 21 new distributions to more than 7,000 food-insecure residents by January 2017.
“Our service area is more than 60,000 square miles, so it’s easy to imagine the demand this puts on our fleet,” said Kenneth Estelle, CEO, Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank.
Estelle added that the grant helps the nonprofit continue “pursuing our mission” and “put good, nutritious food into the hands of those who desperately need it.”
“We could not fulfill our mission without partnerships like this,” Estelle said.
"A clear win"
“With CSX’s partnership, we’re not only helping to connect America's families to fresh fruit and produce, but we’re also supporting our local farmers and working farms,” said Kris Hoellen, VP of sustainable programs, The Conservation Fund.
Hoellen added that the grant program is “a clear win for American families and farmers.”
Tori Kaplan, AVP of Corporate Social Responsibility at CSX, said the company is “proud to work with The Conservation Fund” and "live our commitment to improving the health and wellness of communities across our 21,000 miles of track.”