Grand Rapids based Kids' Food Basket has been fighting food insecurity and feeding hungry school children for more than a decade. The organization started out, in 2003, sending sack suppers home with 125 kids.

Now, the grassroots nonprofit serves 7,500 students at more than 40 sites in Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa Counties.

Thursday, Kids' Food Basket announced big plans for the future. The organization officially launched its Feeding Our Future campaign. It's an effort to raise $6 million to fund a new home for Kids' Food Basket on 14 acres of farmland as well as double the amount of West Michigan children they serve.

“Here in Kent County there is so much more work that needs to be done. There are almost 29,000 Kent County children who are food insecure and we currently serve 6,100 - only 21% of the need. There are 16 schools on our immediate waiting list for services but unfortunately, we’re out of space. That’s why Kids’ Food Basket is committed to expanding. We believe that it’s irresponsible not to grow,” said Bridget Clark Whitney, Kids’ Food Basket Executive Director.

Whitney says the one-third of the purchased land will house a new headquarters, warehouse and volunteer space. They will use the other two-thirds for an urban growing and experiential learning initiative.

"As a working farm that grows veggies and fruits for our Sack Suppers, volunteers can learn about food production, tend to crops and prepare farm products to go in Sack Suppers,” said Whitney.

The goal is to be able to serve students at 16 West Michigan schools currently on the waiting list. The new location will be built on land located at at 1919 Leonard Street NE in Grand Rapids. There is no available timeline on construction. However, donors can support the campaign by visiting the campaign's website or by stopping by Kids’ Food Basket current location, 2055 Oak Industrial Drive NE, to make a donation.

DTE Energy Foundation is matching the first $100,000 donated during the public campaign, doubling your impact.

Kids' Food Basket has more information about expansion plans and childhood hunger, which affects 1 in 5 Michigan children, on its website.

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