There is a growing need for individuals in the greater Lansing area as the percentage of those living in poverty grows beyond 20%. This need is reflected through a continuous rise in the number of individuals living with food insecurities that visit the Cristo Rey Food Pantry. As the year went on, it became more difficult to keep up the demand with our limited budget. Thanks to many great partnerships we have within the Lansing community we were better equipped to keep the shelves stocked with everyday staples. The Meijer Simply Give program is an important part of the solution!
In the summer months, many children who rely on receiving free breakfast and lunch at school now depended on their parents to provide those meals. Even with many community resources, 5 out of 6 children are still food insecure in the summer months.
Lansing has 21 food desert tracks that make it challenging for many to shop for wholesome and healthy food. Perhaps they do not have a car to get to the nearest grocery store, or they cannot afford a bus pass. If it were not for the neighborhood food pantry, many families might shop at a local gas station, convenience store, or fast food restaurant for their families’ dinner.
The Cristo Rey Food Pantry always strive to be a program that serves those in need efficiently, effectively and with great care. Many new families have signed up for food pantry appointments in the past month. With the growing numbers of individuals we have met and served, we have also provided many more pounds of food. We would have run out of the resources to ensure these families had food if it were not for the Meijer Simply Give Program.
Meijer Simply Give, a program in which Meijer customers can donate a gift card to a food pantry in their area. We have partnered multiple times with the Meijer store on the south side of Lansing and cherished the support it lends.
Not only do the Meijer Simply Give Cards help us stock the pantry, but they help us stock the pantry with good proteins and fresh produce. We have surveyed clients and the overwhelming majority do not want to eat processed foods. Our clients want to eat healthier food; it is just difficult for them to access. Items purchased were fresh meat, milk, eggs, veggies, fruits, beans, and cereal.
Our store is shop style, so families can bring a shopping cart around the pantry and put items in their cart that they know their family would like best. Because Meijer gives us gift cards, we can order items from Meijer that our community prefers, and we were able to provide them with a variety of options, as well! It was a big treat for clients to be able to choose from pineapple, pears OR peaches when choosing from the fruits, and they were able to select from a variety of 5 different beans when shopping for beans.
Meijer has been able to provide healthy meals to those who aren’t able to access their store. They are making an effort to care for ALL of our community, and it is beautiful when Meijer shoppers and fellow community members partner with Meijer to serve our community as a whole. Thanks to Meijer, many children in our community can focus on enjoying the summer, not on how they will receive their next meal.