Helping Hands of Cass County awarded grant to fight food insecurity

Published 9:20 am Sunday, November 19, 2023

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CASSOPOLIS — Helping Hands of Cass County was recently awarded a $3,000 grant to fight food insecurity in the community by the Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Agent Charitable Fund.

Grant funds will be used to provide weekend food bags for students and their families who attend Sam Adams Elementary School.  Director Tina Grice reported the Helping Hands food pantry in Cassopolis had nearly doubled the number of people fed this year and anticipates more children will need weekend food support due to rising grocery costs.

Helping Hands of Cass County is one of nine organizations throughout the state to receive a Feeding the Future Grant from the ACF in October. Organizations are nominated by a local Farm Bureau Insurance agent and selected by a committee of ACF donors based on the need of the organization, population being served, and overall goal of the program. In 2023, a total of $144,000 will be awarded through this grant program. Feeding the Future grants are reviewed every other month and grants are awarded up to $4,000. 

Farm Bureau agent Adam Hover and Amy Gross nominated Helping Hands of Cass County for the grant and are passionate about raising awareness surrounding local food insecurity and supporting Helping Hands’ hunger-relief efforts in Cass County.  Hover and his Farm Bureau staff plan to continue supporting this project by helping pack the weekend food backpacks.

Each weekend, about 50 students carry home food security:   a bag of groceries that includes 6 meals of shelf stable, easy-to-prepare food plus snacks.  One month of backpacks totals 1,200 meals for the students, and additional meals are provided for long weekends or holidays when school is closed.

The ACF, whose mission is to end hunger in Michigan, is a donor-designated fund administered through the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s board of directors, positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.

Through grant programs like Feeding the Future, Farm Bureau agents, clients and partners provide food and educational programs to Michigan residents struggling with hunger and aid the more than 3,000 hunger-relief agencies throughout the state.