PLATINUM2023

Kids' Food Basket

Nourishing children to reach their full potential.

aka Kids' Food Basket   |   Grand Rapids, MI   |  www.kidsfoodbasket.org

Mission

Kids' Food Basket nourishes children to reach their full potential.

Ruling year info

2007

President and Founding CEO

Bridget Clark Whitney

Chief Operating Officer

Erika Abbo

Main address

1300 Plymouth Ave NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49505 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3760991

NTEE code info

(Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs) (K30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2002, Kids' Food Basket (KFB) was founded to ensure access to nutritious, ready-to-eat meals for West Michigan children who are under-resourced and impacted by poverty and food insecurity. The mission of KFB is to nourish kids to reach their full potential. In the four counties we serve, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan, there are over 90,000 children who qualify for free or reduced-cost school meals. Pre-COVID-19, Kids' Food Basket served healthy, nutritious evening meals called Sack Suppers to over 8,800 kids at 52 schools where 70% or more of the student population received free or reduced-cost breakfast and lunch. Good food is the foundation of good health, and good health is the foundation to a good future. Kids' Food Basket continues to feed the future by ensuring that all students have access to healthy meals beyond the school bell, including fresh vegetables and fruits. Through its urban farm and experiential learning, KFB connects children to the origins of their food.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sack Suppers

Sack Suppers are our flagship evening meal service. Each school day and during summer programs, they provide children whose families are underserved or experiencing poverty with the nourishment kids need to thrive.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children reached with a meal each school day

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children

Related Program

Sack Suppers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Pre-COVID-19, Kids’ Food Basket served healthy and nutritious evening meals called Sack Suppers to over 8,800 kids at 52 schools. In 2022, we surpassed the mark of 10,000 daily meals.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

*2020 volunteer hours were significantly impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns.

Number of program sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Sack Suppers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

-Sites decreased in 2022 due to COVID funding being cut for several community partners -These sites did not include any service schools -We continue to take schools off our waitlist annually

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

For 20 years, West Michigan has counted on Kids' Food Basket to be there when our kids and families need us most. We do not all start from the same place and much of our critical work stems from serious inequities within our communities. Consistent access to healthy food is key to breaking down barriers of poverty and building a stronger, brighter and healthier Michigan. We believe that access to good, healthy nourishing food should be a right, not a privilege. Equity work and anti-hunger work have always been emergencies yet require sustainable strategies and resources. Kids’ Food Basket is committed to providing healthy food access and nutrition education for West Michigan children and families no matter what the future holds.

Equity and anti-hunger work have always been emergencies, and this continues to be true, particularly during a global pandemic When we look at West Michigan through the lens of race and ethnicity, income or ZIP code, we see great disparities even in the best of times. A crisis of this magnitude shines an additional light on these disparities. It is our intention, our plan, to continue this work. We will continue to pivot, evolve and adjust as needed, so that we can nourish our children and families to be their best. Our community can count on us, and as a community-funded organization, we are so humbled that we can count on the generous support of our community and volunteers. In response to the COVID-19, Kids' Food Basket developed a long-term strategy to ensure our continued work: Healthy Food School and Community Distribution: Through numerous partnerships, we are serving directly to schools that provide in-person learning, distribution sites that support virtual learning, community partner host sites, and directly to students homes through the school's breakfast and lunch delivery. In response to the current health crisis and as a result of our community's generosity during COVID-19, we have expanded our meal distribution to several additional schools, many of which were on our waiting list. Growth and Distribution of Nutrient-Dense Produce: Eating well is fundamental to good health and well-being. Nutrient-dense food positively builds our immune systems. We have learned through community listening sessions and surveys that fresh food access is a barrier for many of our families due to cost and/or lack of transportation. When you compound poverty and a global health crisis, it is no surprise fresh food is needed now more than ever. This year on our 10-acre, chemical-free farm we harvested over 107,000 servings of fresh produce for Sack Suppers evening meals and donated over 30,000 servings to our community partners to augment and enhance food selection for families. Youth and Family Nutrition Education: Through virtual and hands-on learning opportunities, we are collaborating with partners to inspire and educate children and their families.

Kids' Food Basket embodies diversity, equality and love, and we are a leader in community health. Many of our neighbors have not had equitable access to the economic stability, opportunities, and prosperity that many have enjoyed in West Michigan. A significant lack of access to good, nourishing food is one of the implications of living in poverty. Kids' Food Basket is a community-funded organization, meaning that we exist as a reflection of our community's generosity and values. Kids' Food Basket also partners with local nonprofits and other community organizations to serve under-resourced communities. We also host critical conversations via video and podcasts with thought leaders on topics such as: community health, housing, education and nutritional literacy to move the needle towards a more equitable future. Through the use of our 10-acre, chemical-free and sustainable urban farm and experiential learning program, we connect children to the origins of their food where it comes from and how it is grown. Together with our community partners, we are strengthening our direct response to childhood hunger and ensuring long-term impact through daily nourishment and education.

Kids' Food Basket has grown from serving 125 students in three schools in Grand Rapids, to now serving thousands of students and families who are facing food insecurity daily across four counties. In March 2020, when schools closed due to the COVID-19 crisis, Kids' Food Basket immediately pivoted and responded with an emergency food provision strategy. Since that time, over hundreds of thousands of healthy emergency meals have been served to 70 distribution sites throughout the pandemic in the four counties that we serve (Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan). The catalyst of our COVID-19 emergency response is our new permanent headquarters in Kent County. With an increased capacity comes a greater opportunity to nourish children to reach their full potential. Our new facility allows us to make long-term impact while establishing our roots to engage with West Michigan communities. In addition, Kids' Food Basket has secured a permanent location in Holland to expand our program and services in Ottawa and Allegan counties. The newly renovated facility allows us to grow our impact and serve more schools as currently we are only meeting 10% of the need in Ottawa and Allegan counties.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Financial or family barriers prevent participants from attending listening sessions

Financials

Kids' Food Basket
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Kids' Food Basket

Board of directors
as of 05/22/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mary Command

Williams Group

Term: 2019 -

Jessie Jones

Spectrum Health

Mary Command

Williams Group

Mario Cascante

Luna Restaurant Group

Jerry Johnson

Grand Valley State University

Bob Kaser

Grand Rapids Griffins

Phalesha Kyes

By Phalesha Events

Bill McGee

Huntington Bank

Phil Sims

Integrity Tree Services

Dr. Ronald Grifka

Metro UM

Mary K. Hoodhood

Founder, Kids' Food Basket

Keith Rothstein

Meijer

Menaka Abel

Request Foods

Charen Buyce

Stitch Fix

Graciela Cruz

Amway

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/26/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/26/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.