GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Shirley Berry lives on Madison Avenue in Grand Rapids and is seen by many as a mother to not only her family, but to the neighborhood. On Saturday, she got a surprise one usually wouldn't expect on Mother's Day: a free, hand-delivered, loaded potato.
"It's a giant big potato, and it had all the toppings, lettuce, tomatoes, you know, all the vegetables that you would want on there," Berry said.
It was one that she said brought her to tears.
"I really sat down and got ready to eat the meal, and I was like, 'Oh my God, he did this from his heart,'" Berry said.
"I talked to a couple of moms, they were almost like I was, you know, a little teary eyed," Berry said. "And I reached out and I told him I really thank him. I mean, it meant a lot to me."
The meal came from Load a Spud Potato Bar just down the street. While the restaurant handed out free potatoes to local mothers in the store, co-owner Eric Mondine also took to hand-delivering his own.
"Our neighborhood suffers its fair share of hardships, too, as well, you know," Mondine said. "And when that usually happens, the mothers suffer more than anyone. So, we reach out to the mothers just so that we got gratitude and appreciation for all the things they do throughout the year and every other day for us."
According to national non-profit Feeding America, roughly one in nine Michiganders face hunger, including one in eight of the state's children.
In a world of hunger and often of hate, Mondine said his team knew kindness and generosity are exactly what the moms and the neighborhood need.
"You know, we work in our community," Mondine said. "We serve sometimes less fortunate people. We don't hold you to a stick. You know what I mean? We would rather feed you than have you hungry or throwing away waste at the end of the night. So, just daily we try to contribute something always."
Mondine said his business served more than 100 mothers as part of the event, and has just as much in store for Father's Day.