On Nutrition: Godiva Chocolates

With all the talk about nutrition that goes on these days, it is important to remind ourselves from time to time that food is more than just fuel for the body – it also plays a social and emotional role in life, the importance and value of which cannot be overstressed. This story comes to us from John Arnold, then the executive director of Feeding America West Michigan.

When the Feeding America way of allocating out food to its member food banks went entirely online, with the twice a day auction where food banks like ours bid credits that we have been assigned based on the poverty population of our service area, I was originally the person who did the bidding at our food bank.  That lasted until a most unfortunate incident involving 5 trailer loads of wintergreen breath mints, but we won’t talk about that situation right now.  In any case, while I was still doing our food bank’s bidding, I went onto the system one morning and saw that there were three trailer loads of Godiva chocolates available from out in Pennsylvania someplace.  I was interested, but I checked on our inventory and found that we already had quite a bit of chocolate candy and so did not really need any of those three loads, but I felt a little bad about not bidding on them because Godiva chocolates certainly are among the best in the world. Continue reading “On Nutrition: Godiva Chocolates”

When a pantry existing isn’t enough

As the Waste Not Want Not Project research began picking up steam, it quickly zeroed in on the fact that there weren’t enough food pantries in operation to handle the volume of food that needs to be distributed in order to meet the need, and then immediately identified an array of closely-related issues: visibility, accessibility, hours, etc., all of which persist today. These stories are a reminder of why addressing those issues is a critical part of ending hunger.

A Critical Lack of Information

A Hispanic family moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago to get away from the gangs, crime, etc., so they could raise their children in a safe and supportive environment.  Unfortunately the father’s efforts to secure employment were not successful, and within some weeks they were in serious financial trouble.  Eventually when the children began crying with hunger, the father took one of the childrens’ toy guns and broke the little pink “this isn’t a real gun” marker off it, and tried to rob a bank.  He got caught of course, and because of mandatory sentencing rules he was sentenced to a decade in prison.  They lived only a block or two from a food pantry that would have served them, but they didn’t know about it… Continue reading “When a pantry existing isn’t enough”