After all of their work with them over the years, Ross Medical Education Center in Roosevelt Park, Michigan knows that Kids’ Food Basket is an important organization in their area that is making a difference for children in the community. Kids’ Food Basket helps provide nourishment for children so that they can be their best in school and in life. Through their Sack Supper program, kids receive nutritionally balanced meals, filling a gap that schools and parents often cannot afford to meet. With the support of the Muskegon community, Kids’ Food Basket was able to begin their Sack Supper program at Martin Luther King Elementary in April of 2012. After a few short years, Kids’ Food Basket was able to serve over 750 children at three schools in Muskegon each weekday and that number continues to grow.
Ross Campus Director Lisa Picard was honored to be asked to be a part of the Muskegon County Kids’ Food Basket Advisory Board. The campus decided that through some of the winter months they would dedicate time and focus on this awesome organization because they understand that childhood hunger affects the whole community, and they want to join the community in being a part of the solution. Here are a few ways that the Roosevelt Park campus helped the attack on hunger in Muskegon this winter!
First Campus Director Lisa Picard did a presentation on the Kids Food Basket to all the classes describing what Kids’ Food Basket does. She also spent time explaining the definition of food insecurity and how it relates to local children and Muskegon County as a whole. From there the campus committed as a team to tackle this problem in some way, shape or form each and every day!
At the beginning of their efforts, every student and staff member engaged in the “Share the Love Video Contest” where they voted daily for Muskegon’s Kids’ Food Basket to win grant monies to help sustain their programs. The students came in daily, jumped on their computers and voted as a regular routine. Although Muskegon did not win, they did come in 4th place at a national level which was amazing!
As a next step, the students spent time decorating daily bags at the campus. Over the course of six weeks, students decorated bags used for Sack Suppers for area children. The campus added a special Ross holiday sticker to each bag letting the children that received the bags know that they received their bags from their friends at Ross. Over 6,000 bags were donated to the project made by all of those at the campus in addition to other community partners!
Each Thursday a small group that consisted of different staff members and students met at the Kids’ Food Basket facility for one hour to help make sandwiches and pack bags or do whatever they needed volunteers to do. The campus has committed to continuing this effort each week through June when school lets out.
Finally, the staff and students were able to donate items to this organization to assist them in filling the bags as they know that one in five Michigan kids experiences hunger each day and 8,870 Muskegon County kids are food insecure. A lack of consistent nutritious food limits cognitive development and leaves kids unable to concentrate in school. That’s why the campus was happy to be able to donate over 150 pounds of food to the Kids Food Basket Program in Muskegon as they closed out this event.
“It was a great way to get students to engage in a project that assists children from all over the county,” shared Lisa, Campus Director. “The students loved being a part of something that has such an impact on our community on a daily basis. The Kids Food Basket of Muskegon will continue to have our support over the next year as we continue to volunteer each week through June and look for other opportunities to support this organization as well.”