Roughly one thousand volunteers and support staff will take shifts at Van Andel Arena, Wednesday, to help assemble food kits for hundreds of West Michigan families.

It is part of the Food From the Heart campaign organized by the Heart of West Michigan United Way. President and CEO, Michelle Van Dyke says the effort is about raising awareness as well as putting food on the tables of those who need it.

About 51% of people in Grand Rapids, 39% of the population of Kent County, struggle to financially meet basic needs. That includes providing food for their families. According to Van Dyke, food insecurity affects 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 5 children in West Michigan.

Over a period of 4 hours, volunteers will assemble 200,000 ready-to-make meal packets. Each packet has between 5 to 6 servings in it. At the end of the day, those packets will go to local food pantries with the help of Feeding America of West Michigan.

This is the second year HWMUW has held the Food From the Heart event. Van Dyke says last year was a "phenomenal success." She hopes to match that success again this year.

Visit the United Way website for more information on the campaign, including how to donate or get involved.

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