A: Vulnerable populations, including nearly 9,000 local children as well as seniors seniors, struggle with food insecurity each day in Kalamazoo County.
A: Food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
A: Our Grocery Pantry Program (GPP), the largest of our hunger-relief programs, serves 500-600 people per day. Food is provided through a network of pantry locations and county-wide home delivery.
Forty percent of the people served by our Grocery Pantry Program are under the age of 18.
A: The majority of our donations come from individuals, corporations, and faith-based groups as well as grant-funding from local foundations. Less than three percent of resources come from government funding.
A: At the current time, KLF purchases approximately 65% of its food from the wholesale market. Twenty-five percent (25%) of food comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The remaining 10% comes from farm donations, food drives, and grocery store food rescue.
A: Anyone in Kalamazoo County can receive food twice per calendar month. Need is self-declared; no proof of income or ID is required. To schedule an appointment or delivery, contact KLF's Need Food Line (269.343.3663) or email email@example.com.
A: For the 2021-2022 fiscal year, we served nearly 100,000 food orders to over 28,000 unique individuals.
A: Many factors impact food insecurity including jobs, underemployment, education, housing, childcare, and rising healthcare costs. An improving economy does not always equate to higher wages or a lack of hardship.
A: We believe that the overwhelming majority of people requesting and receiving KLF services need them. Since clients can call directly for food assistance on a monthly basis, or utilize our Mobile Food Initiative, there is little benefit to "cheating". At the end of the day, feeding local people is our primary concern and where we spend our energy. Our practices allow us to assist the working-poor who don't qualify for SNAP benefits and other people who aren't consistently able to put nutritious food on the table.
A: SNAP benefits are income based and dependent upon the number of people per household. While SNAP benefits are a great help to someone in need, they often don't cover the amount of food a household needs each month.
A: KLF makes a concerted effort to provide fresh food to clients on a daily basis either through donations from farmers and grocery stores or by purchasing it at wholesale prices. We also stress the importance of low sugar/sodium food donations. Our top distributed food items in our 2018-2019 fiscal year were proteins and fresh produce!
A: The South Michigan Food Bank is a member of the national charitable network Feeding America and procures and distributes food to agencies in their eight county service area, including Kalamazoo County. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes is an independent hunger-relief organization providing direct, tailored services to individuals and families in Kalamazoo County.
A: No, KLF is not a religious organization. KLF is registered as an independent non-profit organization. While our name originates from Judeo-Christian roots, KLF is a secular organization without formal ties to any one denomination or faith. KLF was founded by members of several downtown churches, and the name was chosen by those who first initiated our organized community response to local hunger. However, from the very beginning, KLF has believed that food is a basic human right. Nothing should stand between hungry people and food, including their religious beliefs.
A: No, we are an independent non-profit governed by a Board of Directors.
A: With our large purchasing power, we are able to stretch every donated dollar into three meals for a person facing food insecurity. However, food donations provide our pantries with the important variety we need to meet the food requirements clients may need due to a medical condition, allergies, or religious beliefs.
A: Only 8 percent of your donation goes to administrative costs. The other 92% goes directly to helping people-in-need.
A: With $1 we can provide a person struggling with hunger enough nutritionally-balanced food for three full meals.
A: We work on advocacy initiatives, policies, and programs that promote food security at the local, state, and national level. We also participate in Kalamazoo County's Hunger-Free Coalition, a group of community advocates working together to identify and spearhead projects to end local hunger.
A: Through over 80 distribution sites, referral partners, and community members, we collaborate with organizations that share our vision for a hunger-free community.
A: KLF's Grocery Pantry Program aims at operating as a grocery store, with a variety of food options in each of the USDA's MyPlate categories. Clients have access to fresh and non-perishable food to meets dietary and cultural needs. KLF also strives to provide food to clients in multiple ways (at our pantries, through Mobile Food Initiatives, via home delivery, and more) to try to meet people where they're at rather than having a one-size-fits-all model.
A: Our volunteers are the heart and soul of the organization and can pitch in once or become one of our regulars. Those interested in volunteering can contact Ray, our Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Monetary donations can be made online at kzoolf.org and checks can be mailed to 901 Portage St, Kalamazoo, MI 49001. To learn how to creatively raise funds for KLF, contact our Associate Director, Greta Faworski at email@example.com or at 269.488.2617 ext. 208. Food donations can be dropped off at our Portage Street location Mon.-Fri. from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
A: Join us on Facebook, sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter at kzoolf.org, and check our website frequently for news and information.