WZZM Drive Collects Over 267,000 Pounds Of Food

WZZM, the Gannett-owned ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich. (DMA 42), just completed its annual WZZM 13 Food for Families campaign. During this 12th year of the eight-day drive to help feed hungry families who often times go without during the summer months, WZZM collected  more than 267,000 pounds of food with more continuing to trickle in from Spartan Stores around West Michigan.

The campaign also received 86,500 pounds of badly needed bottled water. “The pantries just love the water,” said food drive champion and WZZM Programming/Community Director Catherine Behrendt. “Some pantries use it for summer park programs and other community events, as well as providing pantry clients with clean, safe drinking water.”

One in 12 Kent County Michigan residents will visit a food pantry at least once this year, according to ACCESS of West Michigan, and one in six receives food stamps. Families very often struggle during the summer months when free school breakfasts and lunches are not as readily available. More and more, they have come to rely on local pantries to meet the demand for food.

This year’s campaign featured a new element. Viewers selected five of their favorite Spartan Stores to host a competition among WZZM news anchors and reporters to see who could collect the most donations during a four hour period each day. That effort alone generated nearly 8,000 pounds of food and culminated with a Country Fresh ice cream party for the winning store’s customers.

WZZM President-GM Janet Mason said: “Our 13 Food for Families campaign is a response to a real community need. We are thrilled to be able to make a difference during a time of year when food pantries face such critical demand.”

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