A large pile of fresh vegitables on a cutting board.

The Pantry Blog

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.

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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

Farm to Pantry

The Pantry’s CSA Partner Plainsong Farm is Putting Faith into Practice

Jun 21, 2016 By

From their blog plainsongfarm.com:

It’s easy to proclaim beliefs. It’s harder to live them out. We know. We’re trying it. This farm is a faith-based experiment. As disciples of Jesus, we want to tend Creation wisely. We want to satisfy the hungry with good things. We trust we’re not alone in these aims. We welcome you, your family and maybe even your church to discover more about how you can put faith into practice with us.

 

At The Pantry, we feel a special kinship in ministry with Plainsong Farm, our goals are very similar, we aim to Feed the Hungry: Mind, Body & Soul.

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Netflix, Gym Memberships and Sustaining The Pantry in the Lean Months

Jan 22, 2016 By

I just cancelled a monthly subscription to a service I hadn’t used in several months. I signed up, lost interest, schedule changed… you know how it is and paid for the service for at least another six months. It’s easy to forget! That’s the downside of monthly deductions, you can loose track of them. That same mechanism though that makes it easy for us to start something and then forget about it can also be used for good.

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One Volunteer Tells His Story: Boldenow says, “I receive much more at ‘The Pantry’ than I give.”

Oct 21, 2015 By

Wednesday mornings I volunteer at ‘The Pantry’, a food bank located at John Knox Presbyterian Church.  Early in the morning I sort fruits and vegetables and display them in a pleasant way for clients to pick up; ironically my first job as a young teen was sorting and displaying fruits and vegetables in an urban farm stand. Flashbacks.

At 10:00 am ‘The Pantry’ opens and I do ‘intake’ which involves talking with the clients and making entries in an area wide database that tracks income, number of people in the family, address, visits to the pantry, and the like.  This not only ensures that we are serving the clients in need and prevents jumping from one pantry to another, but allows us to identify other pressing needs that can be addressed.

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NEW We’re Making Changes to the Holiday Giving Network

Sep 29, 2015 By

The Pantry is making some changes to the way we serve those in need around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the past, individuals, social clubs and church groups had picked up information sheets for roughly 1,250 families in need of a holiday meal basket and directly provided those items needed for their holiday meal. Unfortunately, many were unable to make that connection mainly because of the transient nature of the rural/suburban poor. Many labor hours were spent each year by staff at The Pantry and at area churches; still we had unmatched families and families that could not be reached. Both donors and recipients were disappointed. Not only was the process of delivery and reception of the holiday meal baskets fraught with difficulties, but the process of families coming in and signing up for the baskets was tedious, requiring dozens of volunteers to process unnecessary paperwork; an experience that was unnecessary and dehumanizing. Read full post

Celebrating 30 Years of Service

Sep 17, 2015 By

A 30th anniversary only comes around once and we’d like to celebrate with you! We’d like to celebrate you and your relationship with The Pantry at a fundraising event on October 1, 2015. Whether you are a longtime supporter or new to the work we do, we want to have you come out and joing us for lunch. We’ll be honoring a supporting business partner, a few key support churches and a longtime volunteer from John Knox Presbyterian Church.

The Pantry started as a ministry of John Knox in 1985. During interviews with volunteers and members of John Knox Church last year, a few older members remembered that during 1985, 30 years ago, a small food ministry began with funds being set aside and groceries purchased across the street at the grocery store, then delivered from the trunk of a family car by volunteers as needed.That continued for a few years until donations of food and volume of need required a larger closet be cleared for them; this is where the real roots of what we have become took hold.

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Recent Blog Posts

Giving Tuesday 2022 – The Green Apple Pantry Wants To Feed More Neighbors
Nov 17, 2022
2022 Meijer Holiday Simply Give Campaign
Nov 11, 2022

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