Skip to content


In honor of KFB’s growth and program expansion, we welcome our West Michigan community to celebrate the collective impact that has been made over the past 20 years towards breaking down the barriers to healthy food access. A Touch of Love shares the passion, commitment and resilience behind this critical work. Thank you for being part of this journey from the first Sack Supper to now.

Watch our transformative story!

Kids’ Food Basket has been committed to West Michigan since 2002.

In 2002, Mary K. Hoodhood received a phone call that changed everything. A local school principal reached out and said that students were regularly going into the cafeteria after school in search of food to take home. Mary identified an immediate need. With $3,000 and a handful of volunteers, she committed to providing a solution to childhood hunger in our community.  

Kids’ Food Basket was founded.

We began by providing 125 students at three schools in Kent County with nourishing evening meals in a brown bag, which we called Sack Suppers. Nearly 20 years later, thanks to the support of a diverse range of community partners, we have grown to now serve thousands of children and families in four counties throughout West Michigan every day. 

Championing sustainable, community-driven farming and working alongside our West Michigan neighbors, we look to break down barriers to food equity and help to solve systemic and complex causes of childhood hunger with dignified, long-term solutions. 

Healthy food is a right, not a privilege. Kids’ Food Basket is committed to ensuring that right is enjoyed by everyone in our community—not just today, but for generations to come.

Working together, all of us can ensure that local students have access to healthy, life-affirming food to help them thrive and foster their limitless potential.

A Timeline of Our History


Our First Steps

Founded in 2002, KFB operates in shared spaces with three small gifts of $1,000 and a pool of community volunteers. KFB begins serving 125 meals to three schools in Grand Rapids.


A Home on Butterworth

Due to the increasing need, Kids’ Food Basket expands to a rented space on Butterworth Street in Grand Rapids with room to serve more children and respond to community requests. By engaging hundreds of volunteers and creating the Kids Helping Kids program, thousands of children now have consistent access to good, nourishing Sack Suppers.


2,500 Students a Day

During the height of the 2009 recession, KFB grows to serve 2,500 students a day by implementing LEAN Six Sigma practices. A 1,900% increase from 2002!


New Home and National Recognition

To respond to a growing waiting list, KFB moves its headquarters to a rented space at 2055 Oak Industrial Drive. KFB receives national recognition by winning the Governor’s Service Award for Volunteer Program of the Year, and founder Mary K. Hoodhood receives the Citizens Medal from President Barack Obama.


Muskegon Launches

KFB launches the Muskegon County program to respond to the one in four children in Muskegon who are food insecure. KFB is now serving 1,200 kids and counting! 


Holland Launches

To better respond to the 11,120 children in Ottawa and Allegan counties who live with food insecurity, KFB expands to Ottawa County. Each weekday this program serves over 950 students across six schools.


One Million Meals and Infinite Impact

As a result of a growing volunteer and donor community, KFB reaches the tremendous milestone of serving 1,000,000 healthy, nourishing meals in one school year in West Michigan.


Last Farmland in Grand Rapids

Grand opening of the chemical-free, sustainable 10-acre farm at KFB’s new Grand Rapids headquarters. Now, delicious kid-tested vegetables are grown right on site. A local farm lays the groundwork for a strong, sustainable future.


Permanent Kids' Food Basket Headquarters

Kids’ Food Basket expands to its 30,000-square-foot LEED-certified headquarters on 1300 Plymouth Avenue NE. It is complete with 10 acres of sustainable farmland, a greenhouse and a learning barn in Grand Rapids. KFB is currently serving over 8,800 children and families in four counties, with the capacity to serve up to 15,000 meals a day and donate thousands of pounds of fresh produce to our community partners.


COVID-19 Emergency Response

Pre-COVID-19, Kids’ Food Basket served healthy and nutritious Sack Suppers to over 8,800 kids at 52 schools where 70% or more of the student population received free or reduced-cost lunch. In March 2020, KFB immediately pivoted to an emergency response strategy to meet the growing needs of the community and began distributing healthy meals to thousands of whole families at over 100 community host sites across the four counties that we serve.


Ottawa + Allegan Expansion

Now serving over 1,100 children, KFB secures a permanent home at 652 Hastings Avenue in Holland to serve both Ottawa and Allegan counties. Thanks to the championship of local leadership and generous donors, this space allows KFB to service an additional five schools in need of healthy, life-affirming evening meals.


Ground Up Learning Lab Launches

Ground Up Learning Lab (GULL) is a series of online, interactive lessons and activities for students and families. Lessons focus on community engagement, home gardening, sustainability and healthy lifestyle habits. GULL is a free curriculum that students, educators and parents can use to find a variety of resources to learn and grow together.


Kids’ Food Basket Farm – Ottawa + Allegan Opens

KFB announces the development of a 10-acre sustainable, chemical-free farmland, a greenhouse and a learning barn in Ottawa County. The farm, a shared property in partnership with Ridge Point Community Church in Holland, will be used to increase food provision and expand our Grow commitment in Ottawa and Allegan counties. Produce grown on the newly acquired farmland will go directly into Sack Suppers and into the community to help increase access to healthy food for the residents of Ottawa and Allegan counties.

Learn More About Kids' Food Basket