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St. Matthew Lutheran Church says "no" to hunger

St. Matthew Lutheran Church says "no" to hunger

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- On Saturday, Feb. 8, the new gymnasium and multipurpose room at St. Matthew Lutheran Church was filled with the laughter of children for the first time during a Kids Against Hunger food packing event.

In all, 120 volunteers from the congregation and community packaged 11,376 meals for hungry children and their families.  Of the meals packaged, 3,456 went to the John Knox food pantry on Kalamazoo Avenue in Grand Rapids.  The remaining meals will go to third world countries in dire need and those devastated by a natural disaster.

St. Matthew and Thrivent Financial Services provided the funding for the event.   Kids Against Hunger – Grand Rapids delivered all the equipment, food, packing materials and tables.  Chuck Bailey, director for KAH-Grand Rapids trained the volunteers and managed the event.  They started setting up at 7:30 a.m.

Kent County turns to community to set health priorities

Kent County turns to community to set health priorities

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Healthy Kent and the Kent County Health Department will begin tapping the community for ideas to make the county healthier Tuesday, Feb. 11.

From more health food stores to more mental health services, all ideas are welcome as both groups collect information for the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment.

"The best way to ensure success of our health programs is to focus on what we can address and what we can improve, said Adam London, Kent County health officer who has dedicated staff working with Healthy Kent. "The data and information gathered in this step will help us develop top priorities to improve health outcomes in Kent County."

Local health departments are required to update their Community Health Needs Assessment every five years for state accreditation.  Hospitals must update their CHNA every three years.

The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Feb.

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The recent winter storms and extremely cold temperatures are taking a toll on donations to the American Red Cross.

The organization says more than 7070 blood drives were cancelled last month because of the weather—leading to a loss of more than 25,000 blood and platelet donations. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood each day to supply medical centers. 

“While thousands of people from across the country responded to the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross in January, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donors with type O, especially type O negative,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region.

Kulman says the recent uptick in cold and flu cases is also taking a toll on blood donations.   Community members are encouraged to donate blood at one of the following drives:

  • Feb. 4, 12 p.m.

Kent County turns to community to set health priorities

Kent County turns to community to set health priorities

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—How would you make Kent County healthier?

That’s the question Healthy Kent and the Kent County Health Department is hoping to answer with a series of community meetings over the next three months.   From more health food stores to more mental health services, all ideas are welcome as both groups collect information for the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment.

"The best way to ensure success of our health programs is to focus on what we can address and what we can improve, said Adam London, Kent County health officer who has dedicated staff working with Healthy Kent.

American Red Cross looking for more donors during National Blood Donor Month

American Red Cross looking for more donors during National Blood Donor Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—January is National Blood Donor Month, and the American Red Cross wants to thank all those who role up their sleeve to help save lives.

“Every day in our country, approximately 44,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals to help treat trauma victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies and patients receiving treatment for cancer and other diseases,” said Todd Kulman, communications manager of the Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “As the New Year begins, it is the perfect time to honor donors for their commitment to helping save lives through the simple act of giving blood and platelets throughout the year.”

January can be a difficult month to fill the need for blood and platelet donations because of winter weather and seasonal illnesses.  If you’d like to help, the following blood drives are planned through the next month:

 

American Red Cross looking for more donors during National Blood Donor Month

American Red Cross looking for more donors during National Blood Donor Month

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—January is National Blood Donor Month, and the American Red Cross wants to thank all those who role up their sleeve to help save lives.

“Every day in our country, approximately 44,000 units of blood are needed in hospitals to help treat trauma victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies and patients receiving treatment for cancer and other diseases,” said Todd Kulman, communications manager of the Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “As the New Year begins, it is the perfect time to honor donors for their commitment to helping save lives through the simple act of giving blood and platelets throughout the year.”

January can be a difficult month to fill the need for blood and platelet donations because of winter weather and seasonal illnesses.  If you’d like to help, the following blood drives are planned through the next month:

Volunteers invited to package 10,000 meals Feb. 8

Volunteers invited to package 10,000 meals Feb. 8

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- On Feb. 8, Kids Against Hunger – Grand Rapids will come together with about 100 community volunteers to package 10,000 meals for hungry children and their families.

The event will take place at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, located at 5125 Cascade Road in Grand Rapids. The public is invited to join the effort  or cheer on volunteers between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. This event has been made possible through fundraising by St. Matthew Lutheran Church and sponsorship from Thrivent Financial.

With 26 community based events last year, Kids Against Hunger is a productive contributor in the fight to end world hunger. The organization helped feed more than 1,380,000 starving children in 2013 alone.

The meals packaged Saturday will be equally distributed for disaster relief,  third world countries in dire need and local food pantries, including Kids' Food Basket and the John Knox Food Pantry