A nonprofit focusing on childhood hunger has broken ground on its new headquarters in town.
Grand Rapids-based Kids’ Food Basket said today it formally started construction on its $7.5-million headquarters on 15 acres in Grand Rapids, at 1919 Leonard St. NE.
Kids’ Food Basket purchased the land last year.
The nonprofit has raised $7 million through a fundraising campaign and is seeking donations to fund the remaining cost.
It expects to move in next spring and be fully operational next fall.
One third of the land will be used to build a new two-story, 30,000-square-foot production and education facility, housing the organization’s warehouse, office and volunteer engagement space.
The new location will allow the nonprofit to expand, accommodate additional clients and provide room to grow.
The facility will allow the nonprofit to deliver 15,000 Sack Supper meals each day to children in Kent County, along with accommodating additional volunteer opportunities in longer sessions.
The nonprofit's current 10,000-square-foot rented headquarters in Grand Rapids, at 2055 Oak Industrial Dr. NE, serves 6,000 children in Kent County, which is 19 percent of the 36,000 children in West Michigan who need its services, according to Bridget Clark Whitney, founding CEO, Kids’ Food Basket.
“There are 30 schools on our immediate waiting list for services, but unfortunately, we’re out of space,” Clark Whitney said. “That’s why Kids’ Food Basket is committed to expanding. We believe that it’s irresponsible not to grow.”
The remaining two-thirds of the parcel has already been used as farmland to grow fruits and vegetables for the Sack Supper program.
The harvest has yielded more than 10,000 pounds of fresh sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, string beans, tomatillos and mini bell peppers, according to Clark Whitney. The farm has allowed volunteer opportunities for more than 1,000 people.
Additional greenhouses and farm-support structures will also create on-site learning opportunities.
Grand Rapids-based InterActive Studio is the architect on the new headquarters project. Grand Rapids-based Orion Construction is the project's general contractor. Grand Rapids-based Classic Engineering is the project's site engineer.
The nonprofit hopes to get the headquarters LEED certified upon completion. The building will feature several LEED-type design elements: natural light maximization; low VOC paints, caulks, adhesives and floor coverings; alternative vehicle considerations; and several other elements focused on sustainability.
Kid’ Food Basket
Kids’ Food Basket provides Sack Suppers to 8,000 of children at 46 elementary schools in the Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland areas, delivering more than 1-million well-rounded meals each year.
More than 240 volunteers total at Kids' Food Basket locations in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland help prepare, pack and deliver Sack Suppers each day.