Monday, January 24, 2022
Since 1854 — News from Montcalm County and Ionia County, Michigan
Volunteers gather at Belding High School on Friday to distribute food to families through the Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank. — DN Photo | Brandon Schreur
BELDING — Sustained entirely by volunteer help and donations from the community, Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank is able to provide food to approximately 100 families within the local area each and every month.
Thanks to both the generosity of Belding’s Wesco and its loyal patrons, Belding Area Schools has ensured that they will be able to continue to provide the service for some time to come.
On Friday, Belding’s Wesco presented Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank with a check for $10,125.99 that the business raised toward the end of 2021.
Cathy Ackerson, Michelle Outman and Wendy Davis, all of whom are managers or assistant managers for Belding’s Wesco, present Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank with a check for $10,125.99 that Wesco raised from October through December on Friday. — DN Photo | Brandon Schreur
Belding Feeding America coordinator Alisha Hummel told the Daily News that the funds will ensure the Feeding America truck can continue to come to Belding each month, meaning that they’ll be able to continue providing the service to the community for some time.
“It costs about $600 a month to bring the Feeding America food truck to the different sites,” she said. “The support of Wesco and other people in our community, it’s very important for us to be able to sustain this. Our schools can’t use school funds to do it at all.”
Cathy Ackerson, manager for Belding’s Wesco, told the Daily News that each Wesco location picks a food bank to raise funds for and donate to each year.
Ackerson said that Belding’s Wesco has chosen Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank in previous years, along with IM Kids 3rd Meal and other organizations; however, this past year far succeeded what they’ve been able to raise in the past.
“Usually, we’re raising somewhere between two to three thousand dollars,” she said.
The difference between this past year and other years, Ackerson said, was that Wesco added an option onto their cash register allowing customers to round up on their transactions when purchasing something from the store.
Wesco adds an additional $1,000 onto what the community raises, which is how the company made it to the $10,125.99 figure.
Upon presenting Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank with a check for $10,125.99 that Belding’s Wesco raised through community donations, Belding’s Wesco assistant manager Michelle Outman helps move boxes when distributing food to families. — DN Photo | Brandon Schreur
Ackerson, along with assistant managers Michelle Outman and Wendy Davis, say that the credit, then, really goes to the Belding community for utilizing the option and being so generous throughout the fundraiser, which lasted from October to December.
“We want to thank our community,” Outman said. “Belding is awesome for this. Awesome.”
“It was the customers,” Ackerson agreed. “…This (Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank) is great because it’s right here in the community. It’s tied right in with the high school.”
“And it gets to include our high-schoolers, who raise money for it, too,” Davis added.
Belding Area Schools students previously raised over $1,200 for the Feeding America truck during a No Shave November fundraiser in 2021.
With Belding Area Schools Feeding America Mobile Food Bank now being in its seventh year, Hummel said that the service is available for anyone who needs it on the third Friday of every month, typically at 4:30 p.m., in the lower parking lot of Belding High School.
“We’ve been able to sustain it completely through funds from people in our community,” she said. “Anybody in need can come, for any reason, to get food for the family. If they have somebody who can drive, they can pick up for another family as long as they sign their information. They don’t have to show us a license or anything like that. We just need to have their name, address and phone number. The phone number is just in case there’s a recall or something like that so we can call them back.”
“We also do have a migrant coordinator in our district,” Hummel added. “She comes and picks up any leftovers that we might have after it’s over and brings them to migrant camps in the area.”
A schedule of Feeding America distributions in Ionia can be found at feedwm.org.
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Monday, January 24, 2022