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Downtown Market launches new initiative to feed families and essential workers

It will benefit both market merchants and families in need.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Downtown Market launched "Feed the Family | Feed the Frontline" initiative Friday. 

The goal is to provide meals for families in need, as well as essential workers on the front lines. 

"We will take donations from the community," said Amanda Gielczyk, Vice President of Marketing, "that allows us to support our downtown restaurants and merchants by providing meals to both families in need and those essential workers out working the front lines right now."

The program connects people who want to support the community with Market restaurants that need orders. 

You can donate by visiting the Downtown Market's website.

A $15 donation will feed one healthcare worker, and a $60 donation feeds a family of four.  

Essential workers that will receive the meal donations include area hospitals, such as Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, Metro Health, Life EMS and AMR West Michigan. The frontline facilities also include the Downtown Grand Rapids Ambassadors, The Rapids, and the Grand Rapids Police Department. 

To reach out to families in need, the Market has partnered with Arbor Circle.

“Everyone in our community needs support right now, and this initiative is an opportunity to reach many in need,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Downtown Market. “While a donation provides a fresh meal to a frontline worker or family in need, it also supports a locally owned small business in our Market Hall.” 

Donations are tax deductible. The hope is the program can grow and change as the pandemic slows down. 

"Our goal is to help as many people as possible," said Gielczyk, "and we’ve designed the program so its long-lasting and ongoing. There’s always people in need in the community. So, if we need to make adjustments as we work through this pandemic, then this program allows us to be able to do that and help people."

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