The Allegan County United Way & Volunteer Center has expanded its annual Stuff the Bus Food Drive to include two additional grocery stores and three additional pantries. “Every part of Allegan County has a significant number of households that need help now and then,” says United Way President & CEO Denise Hartsough. “ALICE households—those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed—plus those below the federal poverty level--are around one third of the households in Wayland and in Saugatuck, for example, and nearly half of the households in Plainwell and the portion of Holland in Allegan County. In Fennville, it is over 60%.”
Shoppers throughout Allegan County are invited to donate non-perishable food and/or funds on Friday and Saturday, July 17 & 18 at ten sites: Hardings Markets in Otsego, Plainwell and Wayland, DeMond’s Super Valu in Douglas, Sav-a-Lot and Village Market in Allegan, Wagner’s in Fennville, Dick’s Market in Dorr, Hamilton Food Center, and CD’s Quik Mart in Hopkins. Donations filling the school buses parked at the participating stores will help restock the shelves of eleven local food pantries: Allegan County Central Food Pantry (Allegan), Allegan United Methodist Church, Christian Neighbors (Douglas), Christian Neighbors Southeast (Plainwell), Hopkins Community Food Pantry, Love INC (Hamilton), Love INC (Pullman), Martin United Methodist Church, Project Hope (Dorr), St. Vincent DePaul (Otsego), and Wayland Area Christian Neighbors Food Pantry.
Over the summer, children from ALICE households do not have access to breakfast or lunch at school. That means families turn to food pantries more often, and so pantries need extra donations to help those families stretch their tight budgets.
Stuff the Bus benefits from the generosity of school districts that provide the buses: Wayland, Saugatuck, Plainwell, Otsego, Hopkins, Hamilton, Fennville, and Allegan.