Hunger is a big problem for many children, too many. Not enough food can mean concentration problems, anger and health issues, doing poorly in school. During any school year there are State and National programs that provide breakfast and lunch for those children that otherwise might do without. And, at the end of the day, Kids' Food Basket provides a sack supper for the student to take home so that they will have a healthy meal that evening.

But, wait, it's summer. School is out, so what happens to these vulnerable kids?

There is help. Kids’ Food Basket is collaborating with Michigan No Kid Hungry and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), as a promotional partner for the free Meet Up and Eat Up™ Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in Grand Rapids and surrounding areas.

Courtesy MDE

There are many Meet Up and Eat Up™ sites that are serving nutritious meals to children 18 and under regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, living in low-income areas (where 50 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced price school meals). Kids’ Food Basket will be over seeing and providing meals at 2 sites in West Michigan as a sponsor. The program will be working with Mt. Zion Church (Club 188), in Muskegon serving around 60 youth both breakfast and lunch, Monday- Friday. In addition, York Creek Community Center will be providing lunch to about 60 youth in Comstock Park Monday-Thursday.

However, there are other sites, and parents, families and caregivers can easily find the location nearest them by calling 2-1-1, or texting FOODMI to 877-877. The MDE also provides the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Site Locator Map, which allows families to identify the nearest Meet Up and Eat Up™ site, including information about locations, meal types, times, and driving directions. The map can be found at

If you, your organization, are interested in more information about getting involved as a site, an activity provider, or a volunteer this summer, you should contact Julie VanGessel at 616-235-4532 ext 234 or use the MDE website at Additional information and Meet Up and Eat Up resources are available at