Thursday, August 5, 2010

President Obama Presents Award to the Founder of Kids' Food Basket

The founder of Kids' Food Basket was recently honored by President Obama. Van Andel Arena makes donations to Kids' Food Basket in entertainers' names as a way of saying thank you for playing our venue.

Mary K. Hoodhood, the founder of Kids’ Food Basket, made a visit to the White House on Wednesday. Hoodhood was one of the 13 recipients of the 2010 Citizens Medal for performing “exemplary deeds of service outside their regular jobs.”

After a car accident left her paralyzed, Hoodhood began volunteering at her local Meals on Wheels Program. The experience sparked a passion for feeding the hungry, leading her to found Kids’ Food Basket in 2001- an organization which provides meals daily to thousands of children in the Grand Rapids area.

The non-profit, in response to a growing need, recently signed a 10-year lease for a larger facility at 2055 Oak Industrial Drive NE.

"I never thought I would be here (the White House), but I really accepted the medal on behalf of all the wonderful people in Grand Rapids who helped grow the program from 125 kids in 2001 to the more than 2,600 fed every day of the school year," said Hoodhood, who was presented the award by President Barack Obama. "There is more we can do to feed even more children."

In his speech on Wednesday, President Obama said "physical limitations have never hindered ... Hoodhood's determination to strengthen her community."