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W. Mich. church working to drive out hunger

PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A West Michigan church is working to help drive out hunger.

12 Baskets Food Pantry is about to open its doors on Portage Road in Portage, thanks to tens of thousands of dollars worth of donations from the community.

Newschannel 3 dug deeper into the inspiration behind the food pantry.

12 Baskets is more than just a food pantry, they are giving hope to those in need.

"Our mission statement says it all: we are here to take the excess and the needy and bring them together," said Lead Coordinator Mike Hartwigsen.

The statement is on the wall foreveryone to see at 12 Baskets, but to all who volunteer, it's more than just words.

"12 baskets got started when the Pastor Bill Perch at Lake Center Bible was called by Lake Center Elementary and Vicksburg Schools because they had children showing signs of malnutrition, and they were trying to figure out a way to solve the problem," Hartwigsen said.

The 3,000 square foot facility will supply fresh and canned goods to those who are in need, not just in Portage, but to those in Vicksburg as well.

"One of the things we do and what we created here is a grocery store that people can come in and actually shop and get what they want, and get what they need," Hartwigsen said.

The food pantry is not only helping those who have fallen on bad times, but they also want to help bring the community together and stomp out hunger.

"What we are really looking for is a community effort; small businesses, big businesses and individuals to get involved to help solve this problem of feeding our neighbors who are hungry and feed the children who are showing signs of malnutrition; and the problem that can be solved and have immediate impact in our community," Hartwigsen said.

12 Baskets is having an open house to all those who are interested in donating either goods or time this weekend.

It will be held on Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

For more information, click here.