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Grand Rapids pantry offering diverse food options

Because the Green Apple Pantry serves a diverse community, staff are mindful of having a wide variety of food options.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As inflation continues to rise, so does the price of food, which is putting a strain on most people's budgets.

Some people are turning to area pantries to provide food for their families due to these unprecedent financial times. One pantry in West Michigan, the Green Apple Pantry, serves one of the most multi-cultural and multi-racial communities in the region.

"Kentwood is one of the most diverse communities in the nation," said Nancy Cromley, executive director of the Green Apple Pantry. "And so, we try very hard to have some of those foods that are culturally diverse."

Cromley said they make sure to have rice and beans in stock. Additionally, she said because the community is so diverse, they make sure to be mindful of having a wide variety of food options.

"We have a community that doesn't eat pork, a community that doesn't eat beef," Cromley said. "We also have a community that is gluten free. We have vegans and vegetarians. So, we tried to pay attention to all of them and make sure that we can serve everyone in the community as best as possible."

RELATED: SUMMER STOCK UP: The state of hunger in West Michigan

People are relying on pantries and food banks a lot due to the uncertain times. On top of inflation, many people are still recovering from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Cromley said that is why the Green Apple Pantry is here.

"That is why pantries exist to help in times of need," Cromley said. "It might be that you lost a job, had a medical emergency, or you're just going through a divorce. Or you just moved to the area, and you just have a need now; we are here for that, but we're also here for those that need ongoing help."

The Green Apple Pantry is located near the intersection of 44th and Kalamazoo Avenue. They serve southeast Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Caledonia. Cromley said all you need to bring with you is a piece of mail and an ID showing you live in their service area.

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