GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The John Knox Community Food Pantry in Grand Rapids is expanding its hours in response to increased need.
The pantry says it has seen increased need following recent cuts to federal food assistance. Director Michael Merren said the pantry is serving about 20 more families each day than it was a year ago.
Merren said the increased need may ease around tax return time, but that he expects the next two moths to be just as busy.
In order to provide everyone with the help they need, the pantry will now be open Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. starting in February.
That allows clients some flexibility to visit the pantry and will ease volunteers’ workload, the pantry says.
It will continue to be open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10 a.m .and 2 p.m. Grand Rapids are residents who are living at or below 200% of poverty can get one week’s worth of groceries at a time.
In November 2013, Merren said that the pantry, located on Kalamazoo Avenue SE north of 44th Street, was struggling to keep up with increased demand following a decline in funding to the federal food stamp program.
But, he said, since 24 Hour News 8’s coverage, the pantry has seen an increase in donations.