Hunger as a result of poverty is a debilitating disease that is a severe stumbling block for children and families to overcome. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we cannot begin to address learning, achievement, and other higher needs, until we address basic needs for food and shelter. In Kalamazoo County there are 39,000 citizens living below the poverty line, which is $22,000 for a family of four. These folks struggle daily to meet basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. The McCurtis Outreach Ministry seeks to address hunger and other basic needs through a food kitchen, a food and personal care pantry, and a free clothing closet.
This ministry began in 2015 in response to the need in Kalamazoo’s poorest population. These are mainly folks of color and need a plethora of supportive services in order to break out of the cycle of poverty. McCurtis Outreach Ministry provides additional food four times per year to families in need. Starting in 2015, as word spread people served grew to 300 each time, including approximately 50% children. Virtually all live in the inner city in poverty. McCurtis Outreach Ministry is an all-volunteer organization that supplements other services currently available as these other organizations do not have the capacity to provide all necessary resources to eliminate hunger and poverty in our community. This successful initiative is building momentum but has unmet needs of our own.
At this time, McCurtis Outreach Ministry is seeking help to provide personal care packages to those 150+ families who participate and help offset the cost of food provided through Feeding America. Food stamps, while lifesaving, do not cover toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, and cleaning supplies. As this ministry grows, our goal is to offer a meal, a bag of food, clothing, and a personal care package once per month to at least 300 citizens of Kalamazoo to give them a ray of sunshine and a reason for hope in an otherwise bleak life. Thank you for your interest in our ministry!
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