She Heard About a Child Digging Through the Trash for Food and Set Out to Feed Hungry Kids
Serving the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area as a social worker and food bank volunteer, Mary K. Hoodhood was generally aware of hunger in the community, but not among children.
She learned that local kids were going home from school every night with empty cupboards waiting for them. In her fact-finding about the issue, Hoodhood heard a school principal talk about a student digging in the trash after school to find dinner she could bring home.
“The thought of a child looking through the trash, looking for food to take home to her family, is just so sad,” Hoodhood says. “Kids should be thinking about what they’re doing after dinner, not where their dinner is coming from.”
In 2001, she helped found Kids’ Food Basket in coordination with local schools. At its inception, Kids’ Food Basket provided a take-home evening meal to 125 kids at three schools.
The organization now serves 6,300 kids each weeknight at 32 schools in Grand Rapids and Muskegon – with the help of 200 volunteers – seven days a week.