Temple Emanuel Food Bank
The Food Bank has been around for about 30 years. It started when the Grand Rapids community brought Russian Jews to the area. We have grown serving from about a dozen families and has grown to close to 70 families monthly. Families shop for food at our “Temple store” where we provide healthy food choices including fresh fruits and vegetables (oftentimes from our Community Garden), lean meats and fish, as well as low sodium canned and frozen vegetables, soups and pastas. We also provide laundry soap or dish soap, bath soap, toilet tissue and paper towels. When able, we supply diapers and Ensure for clients with special needs. We purchase most of our food for distribution from Feeding America West Michigan, a warehouse for food banks, at a significantly discounted rate. Feeding America is supplied by many local stores and farmers, who donate food that may soon become outdated.
The Food Bank is generously supported by the members of Temple Emanuel, who contribute funds in the form of honorariums, memorials and general donations, Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids, and Congregation Ahavas Israel. Healthy food donations are always welcome at the food bank, and we collect food throughout the year from our religious school students and members.
Over the past 3 years we have been participating in a program financially supported by Spectrum Health called the NOW (Nutritional Options for Wellness) program. We provide selected individuals with a chronic medical condition (referred by their medical provider) and weekly healthy food to help improve their health status. By providing healthy food and necessities to our neighbors in need, we help promote health, as well as allowing them to use the money saved to pay for housing and utilities. It allows all of us to provide one of the highest forms of Tzedakah.
We distribute food on the third Wednesday of every month (unless it conflicts with a Jewish holiday).
Contributions can also be made to our account – 1990, at Feeding America West Michigan to help us purchase our food.