Grand Rapids MI-WZZM 13, the Gannett owned ABC affiliate is proud to announce another hugely successful wrap to our annual 13 Food for Families campaign. This was the 12th year for the eight day drive to help feed hungry families who often times go without during the summer months.
The goal to raise 200-thousand pounds of non-perishable food items was exceeded again this year thanks to the generous donations of WZZM 13 viewers and many corporate sponsors as well.
More than 267,000 pounds of food has already been collected and more continues to trickle in from Spartan Stores around West Michigan.
The WZZM 13 Food for Families campaign also scored 86,500 pounds of badly needed bottled water. "The pantries just love the water," said food drive champion and WZZM 13 Programming/Community Director Catherine Behrendt. "Some pantries use it for summer park programs and other community events, as well as providing pantry clients with clean, safe drinking water."
One in twelve Kent County Michigan residents will visit a food pantry at least once this year, according to ACCESS of West Michigan, and one in six receives food stamps. Families very often struggle during the summer months when free school breakfasts and lunches are not as readily available. More and more, they have come to rely on local pantries to meet the demand for food.
This year's campaign featured a fun, new element. Viewers selected five of their favorite Spartan Stores to host a competition among WZZM news anchors and reporters to see who could collect the most donations during a four hour period each day. That effort alone generated nearly 8-thousand pounds of food and culminated with a Country Fresh ice cream party for the winning store's customers. (The Family Fare in Grandville, by the way!)
WZZM 13 President and General Manager Janet Mason said, "our 13 Food for Families campaign is a response to a real community need. We are thrilled to be able to make a difference during a time of year when food pantries face such critical demand."
Now that the food has been collected, ACCESS of West Michigan will coordinate its distribution to pantries in more than a half dozen local counties. If you know of someone in need, please ask them call the United Way hotline at 211 for directions to their nearest food pantry.
For more information go to: www.wzzm13.com Page 1 of 2
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