Nonprofit launches campaign to fund new facility

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Meijer CEO Rick Keyes speaks at the launch of Feeding America West Michigan's Nourish Tomorrow campaign. Courtesy Feeding America West Michigan

An organization seeking to relieve hunger and increase food security began a fundraising effort for a new facility.

Feeding America West Michigan on Tuesday, May 17, launched the public phase of its $6 million Nourish Tomorrow campaign to raise funds for new headquarters at 3070 Shaffer Ave. SE in Kentwood.

The advancement campaign comes with a $2 million lead gift from Meijer, a longtime supporter of the food bank.

“I am overwhelmed by the amazing support Meijer provides,” said Kenneth Estelle, president and CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “Meijer has supported our 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. 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.”

Feeding America currently operates at 864 W. River Center Drive NE in Comstock Park. Due to capacity challenges brought on by the pandemic, the food bank acquired the Kentwood facility in 2021 and will use the funds to transform the warehouse space and expand its programs.

Ultimately, the new headquarters will enable the food bank to nearly double its food distribution to nourish more Michigan residents. The goal is to increase annual distribution to 32.5 million meals’ worth of food in five years.

The building will have a total capacity of 37.5 million meals annually.

As of Tuesday, Feeding America raised $4.7 million over the past several months from local donors, businesses and area foundations, in addition to the gift from Meijer.

The public phase of the campaign will continue through the end of this year.

“We’re calling on the community now to help us reach and exceed our goal,” said Amanda McVay, board chair of Feeding America West Michigan. “With your help, we can take this step toward a more nourished tomorrow.”

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