GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A Grand Rapids woman who pioneered a program to help feed children in need is earning recognition from the state.
On June 30, Mary K. Hoodhood accepted the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism. The award is the most prestigious of the Governor’s Service Awards, honoring an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to their community.
In 1980, a vehicle accident put Hoodhood in a wheelchair, but also started her on a path to volunteering, which began with the Meals on Wheels program at God’s Kitchen. In 2001, she founded Kids' Food Basket to combat childhood hunger. The program started by providing evening meals to 125 children at three Grand Rapids public schools; now 5,700 children at 32 schools in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming rely on it, as well as 600 kids at two Muskegon schools.