GVSU Campus Dining donates 4,000+ pounds of food to local organizations

The Blue Connection on the Allendale Campus is open for grab-and-go meals, but the dining area is closed.
The Blue Connection on the Allendale Campus is open for grab-and-go meals, but the dining area is closed.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
A Feeding America West Michigan truck picks up food from Grand Valley's Campus Dining
A Feeding America West Michigan truck picks up food from Grand Valley Campus Dining
Image Credit: Courtesy photo

Thousands of pounds of food from Grand Valley's Campus Dining that might have otherwise gone to waste has been donated to help those in need.

An initial 4,000 pounds of food was donated to Feeding America West Michigan in March when Grand Valley shifted to remote learning. In the past week, another 1,000 pounds of food has been donated to mobile food pantries for area service workers who have been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director Paul Kramer said Campus Dining regularly partners with local organizations. He said Campus Dining workers gathered the food to be donated and volunteers from Feeding America came to campus to pick it up. 

Kramer said he recently read about food pantries for service workers who have been laid off due to restaurant shut downs. He reached out to a connection in the service industry to donate the additional food. 

“It’s been refreshing to see there has been a gentler human kindness that I hope continues after this is over,” Kramer said. 

Although most students have gone home, essential Campus Dining staff members continue to serve the small population still on campus. The P.O.D. convenience store in The Blue Connection on the Allendale Campus is open for grab-and-go meals.

Campus Dining has also implemented a grocery pick-up program. An order form is distributed and students who order can pick up a week’s worth of food, three meals a day, that are shelf stable.

Kramer said Campus Dining staff members enjoy knowing their work and contributions have helped make a difference. 

“It’s a way for us as a team to reach out and be involved, not just at Grand Valley, but locally,” Kramer said.