Calvin partners with county-wide food drive

Photo courtesy Anna Delph.
Photo courtesy Anna Delph.

The Access County Wide Food Drive is a huge annual event that seeks to restock the shelves of more than 60 local food pantries in anticipation of the needs in the coming months.

According to Access of West Michigan’s website, pantries provide over 20,000 food services to those who find themselves in need in the Kent County area.

Feeding those people, however, depends heavily on the success of the weeklong project, as October is a month when many such locations find their shelves growing bare.

Calvin’s campus is one contributor among the many churches, individuals and businesses that take part in the event. But as important as the mission to provide for the needy in Kent County is, there is much more to be learned from the food drive.

“We want Calvin students to ask why there are injustices that make for the inequality where some are hungry and some have plenty,” said Megan Kruis, associate director of the Service Learning Center. “We want them to ask questions about why there’s hunger in Grand Rapids.”

Kruis is in charge of the administrative aspect of Calvin’s involvement in the food drive, an event that is otherwise completely run by students.

The conviction that both justice and charity are necessary aspects of the Christian life is at the core of why the Service Learning Center’s directors and students have participated in this event for so many years.

“We want them to contribute, give and think about the needs that exist in our community,” Kruis said.

A particular area of need in these pantries is toiletry items such as toothbrushes, diapers and dish soap. The food drive at Calvin ran from Oct. 7-11 this year.

However, donations are accepted at any time at Access of West Michigan in order to support their efforts to fight hunger and poverty in the Kent County area.