A large pile of fresh vegitables on a cutting board.

The Pantry Blog

Embracing Generosity: End of the Year Giving

Dec 5, 2023 By

Welcome to the 2023 season of giving! As we approach the end of the year, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the joys, challenges, and lessons of the past months. One tradition that marks this season is the spirit of giving. Whether it’s a gesture of kindness, a donation to a meaningful cause, or time spent volunteering, the act of giving holds the power to uplift spirits and transform lives. The Green Apple Pantry lives today to help others with donations you give to our local nonprofit.

Why is end-of-year giving so important? As the 2023 draws to a close, The Green Apple Pantry is working tirelessly to meet the needs of those less fortunate in West Michigan. Your support, whether big or small, can make a meaningful impact. It’s a chance to contribute to positive change, creating a ripple effect that resonates far beyond the holiday season.

Ways to Give Back to the GAP:

  1. Financial Contributions: Consider making a monetary donation to a cause close to your heart. Many organizations have year-end campaigns, and your contribution can make a significant difference.
  2. Volunteer Your Time: Your time is a valuable gift. Look for local charities or community initiatives that could use an extra pair of hands. Volunteering not only helps others but also brings a sense of fulfillment and connection.
  3. Donate Goods: Clean out your closets and cupboards and donate gently used items to those in need. Non-perishable food, and household items can find new life in the hands of someone who truly appreciates them.

Today, consider setting intentions for the upcoming year. As 2023 draws to a close, let’s come together in the spirit of giving. Whether you choose to make a financial contribution, volunteer time, or spread kindness, your actions have the power to create a brighter future. May your end-of-year giving be a source of joy, warmth and positive change. Thank you from The Green Apple Pantry.

Fall Harvest Gala – October 12, 2023

Aug 30, 2023 By

The Green Apple Pantry is excited to share that we are planning a NEW fall event named, the Fall Harvest Gala! The new gala will be hosted at the KC Banquet Center on Thursday, October 12, 2023 from 6-9 p.m. We invite you to come and dance, sing, taste delicious food and help others in your own community.

The 2023 theme will be “Foods From Around the World” with stations setup in the ballroom where you will be able to eat the finest food from local, West Michigan chefs. Each country’s dish will be paired along with delicious beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to give you the experience of the country from right at home in Grand Rapids.

Tickets are $50 each or you can purchase a pair of tickets for $85. All proceeds will benefit local southern Grand Rapids and Kentwood area families in zip codes 49508, 49548, 49512, and 49316. 

Sponsorships are available for the event with four levels to choose from. The night will feature a silent and LIVE auction and the GAP is looking for donations for both. If you are interested in donating auction items or sponsoring the Gala, please contact Nancy Cromley, Executive Director. We hope to see you soon, thank you for helping feed others.

B2 Outlet Stores Give Back to The Green Apple Pantry

May 9, 2023 By

Update: B2 Outlet Stores donated $469.59
Don’t forget to shop at B2 Outlet, 2085 28th St., SE, Grand Rapids, during the month of May. The Green Apple Pantry has been designated the Mission of the Month and we’re excited to partner with them!

We are thankful to work with community businesses that help us reach our goal of giving a “hand up” to those with food insecurity!


2022 Green Apple Pantry Community Impact Report

Mar 26, 2023 By

Serving others is what we do and we could not do it with out our local community. Thank you.

“Without the financial assistance of this community and support of volunteers, we would not be able to fulfil our mission. We thank you for all you did for us in 2022 and hope you will continue to support us well into the future,” executive director Nancy Cromley said.


Donate to the Green Apple Pantry

Dec 23, 2022 By

End of year giving is a great way to help those in need and make a positive impact on the world. Would you consider making a donation to The Green Apple Pantry today? The end of the year is an important time for charitable giving as we sum up our budgets for the upcoming year and look at how many people we can help. Do you know our mission and story?

When you make a donation to The Green Apple Pantry, you are not only helping those in need, but you are also making a positive impact on your local community. Thank you everyone for the help, time, food, social media love and more that you have given to us in our greatest times of need.

Green Apple Pantry 2022 Highlights:

New partnership with the Grand Rapids Whole Foods Market

New food van

New refrigerated cooler

3 new Green Apple Pantry board members

1st Annual “Ciderfest” where we raised $15K

Spring open house where we raised $7K

We want to do more, that is always our goal each year. Can you help us today? Your donations directly impact people in southeast Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Caledonia.

Finally, if you are able to make your donation before the end of the year, be sure to take advantage of any tax benefits that may be available.

New Whole Foods Market in Grand Rapids Donates Food Truck

Aug 18, 2022 By

The Green Apple Pantry is proud to announce a partnership with Whole Foods Market for not only food donations, but also a beautiful food truck to help transport donations.

Whole Foods will donate to The Green Apple Pantry four times a week with fresh food items and produce.

“We are truly blessed to partner with Whole Foods,” said executive director Nancy Cromley. “We serve so many families in the Kentwood and Grand Rapids area, help is always appreciated and we look forward to the future and seeing how we can continue to help our local public.”


Meijer and The Green Apple Food Pantry Partner Together

Aug 15, 2022 By

The Green Apple Pantry and Meijer Fight Food Insecurity in Grand Rapids Through Simply GiveHunger Relief Program

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – The Green Apple Pantry is proud to announce a partnership with Meijer to provide much-needed relief to local families facing food insecurity through the retailer’s customer-driven hunger relief program, Simply Give.

“We are so grateful to Meijer to help us give essential food back to the local community. Locally, we have seen an increase need coming from people in Kentwood and beyond,” said Nancy Cromley, Executive Director of The Green Apple Pantry.

Our community continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and food pantries are seeing increased demand in their communities.

Each Meijer Simply Give campaign replenishes the shelves of more than 260 food pantries in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards, which are then converted into Meijer food-only gift cards and given to a local food pantry in the store’s community.

The Green Apple Pantry will benefit from donation cards purchased at the insert your local 28th Street and Kalamazoo Meijer store now through Oct. 1. In addition, Meijer will double match any cards purchased on Saturday, Sep. 10, effectively tripling contributions made on that day. Meijer customers shopping online using Meijer pickup or home delivery can also purchase Simply Give donation cards as an add-on to their orders.

“The events of the last nearly two years have taught us all the importance of community members supporting each other,” said Cromley. “We encourage community members to help us feed their neighbors facing food insecurity in Grand Rapids this season by purchasing a Meijer Simply Give food donation card during their next shopping trip.”

Since the program began in November 2008, more than $73 million has been generated for food pantries in the Midwest to distribute to its neighbors in need.

 “The Simply Give program is a way for Meijer customers to partner with us and support the food banks and pantries that feed families in need in their own communities,” said Cathy Cooper, Senior Director of Community Partnerships and Giving for Meijer. “We certainly couldn’t do it without the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand beside us in this effort.”

About Meijer Philanthropy: Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at enriching lives in the communities it serves. Meijer proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit www.meijercommunity.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

FOX17 Food Fight Friday

Nov 20, 2019 By

Success Of Food Fight Friday

Food Fight Friday took place on October 25 at East Kentwood High School. This is our second year receiving generous donations from Food Fight Fridays organized by Fox 17 news.

Thank you to all students and staff who participated in this annual event. The East Kentwood High School Community collected over 3,000 pounds of food for The Green Apple. This was a friendly competition between local High Schools, but it is clearly a winning opportunity for our neighbors. Read full post

A Look Back -2017

Jan 17, 2018 By

A lot of changes occurred in 2017 – from leadership changes to starting new programs!  Through the changes, The Pantry continued to serve approximately 1,000 households each month totallying around 30,000+ meals.

In 2017, The Pantry opened the Fresh Market that offers fresh vegetables and fruit at a reduced price to our community.  This new resource is through the help of United Way funding. The Pantry is working collaboratively with Access and 4 other pantries to provide more healthy food to our neighbors. Read full post

Volunteers: The Heart of The Pantry

May 6, 2017 By

volunteer-opportunitiesThis National Volunteer Week, we’d be remiss if we did not recognize and thank our amazing volunteers for the energy and passion they bring each time they give their time to The Pantry. Did you know that The Pantry only has two paid staff members? With each volunteer hour being valued at $23 by the Independent Sector, we could not keep The Pantry doors open without all of you.

Our volunteers help us in so many different ways. From seamlessly checking in our neighbors and taking them shopping through the pantry, to restocking the shelves and hosting food and personal care drives, to picking up donations from our partners around town- our volunteers are truly the heartbeat of our organization! Read full post

Asking for Help When you are Raised Not To

Sep 23, 2016 By
Born in China, Li Min has lived in the US for 10 years. Her husband is an American. They have 3 beautiful children. They met while he was in China setting up contracts for the manufacture he used to work for. She works part-time for a local non-profit and does some medical translation work. Her husband is on disability after an auto accident. They receive some help by way of food stamps (SNAP), but have a hard time making ends meet. She was not accustomed to asking for help. In fact, she was raised to be very independent. In the past though, when she has had extra translation work around the holidays (seasonal work only) and made a little extra money, DHS has cut their food stamps to nothing and it has taken months to get them reestablished. Having to ask for help is hard.

Read full post

Doing The Incredibly ‘Unsexy’ Work of Meeting Emergency Needs

Sep 2, 2016 By

Some people think that operating a food pantry is old hat, that we need something new. In a sense, they are right. We should be looking for ways to help people that come to a food pantry to find the help or resources that they need in order to provide for themselves. That would be ideal. Self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal. Obviously, people don’t want to have to use a pantry. They want to make it on their own. People are often embarrassed and even a little scared the first time they come in to a pantry. They’d rather not have to and honestly we’d like nothing more than to have our neighbors not need us here. The fact remains though, year after year for over 30 years, we’ve seen thousands more people come to us in need. Not just need, but emergency need. It is one thing to come up short on rent, it is quite another to have to choose between paying rent and buying food. Read full post

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