Healthy Food Options

Healthy Food Options

Flat River Outreach Ministries (FROM) provides Healthy Food Options to our neighbors in need who may be  living on a limited income, facing a financial crisis, or are in need of emergency food. Available to those in the Lowell Area School District, our Healthy Food Options offer a variety of ways for individuals, families and older adults to put healthy foods on their table.

Client Choice Food Pantry

FROM believes that our Food Pantry is key to addressing the root causes of food insecurity in our community. Open to residents of the Lowell Area School District, our Food Pantry focuses on providing healthy foods as well as offering food education, connecting people to resources, supporting healthy social relationship and empowering individuals and families.

Our pantry provides foods that are fresh, healthy, sustainable, support local producers and follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Individuals and families who:

  • live in the Lowell Area School District
  • are in need of emergency food
  • or are in a household where the income falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (Click here to see current federal poverty guidelines)

can visit the pantry once each month to help supplement their food budget.

What to Expect

When you come to the pantry you will:

  • meet with our Client Services Coordinator to get registered and ready to shop.
  • She will explain how the pantry works, and also inform you of the many services provided at FROM and our partner organizations that may be beneficial to you.

Registered individuals and families can shop in the Food Pantry once a month (you determine the date and time you shop based on the pantry’s normal business hours). Each time you come to the pantry you will sign in first (bring your current ID and proof of residence each time) before shopping.

Food Pantry Hours

Tuesday: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. – noon

2021 Mobile Pantry Dates

June 26

July 24

August 28

September 25

October 23

November 20

Mobile Food Pantry

In partnership with local churches, FROM offers a monthly Mobile Food Pantry through Feeding America to provide healthy food options for those who are in need of food.

In line with Feeding America‘s program qualifications, the Mobile Food Pantry is available to anyone who meets at least one of the criteria below.

  • in need of emergency food
  • a participant in an income-based program such as WIC, CFSP, Cash Assistance (FIP)
  • a household with children who receive free/reduced priced meals at their school through the National School Lunch Program or Food Stamps (FAP)
  • in a household where the income falls at or below the federal poverty guidelines (Click here to see current federal poverty guidelines)

What to Expect

Mobile Food Pantry is operated as a drive-thru style format.

When you drive in, follow the directional signs and then you will be greeted by a volunteer who will check you in. Once checked in, you will be directed to drive around to where the food is being loaded. Volunteers will place the boxes of food in your trunk or backseat.

Each person will be given the same amount of food (amounts are adjusted for larger households).

2021 Commodities Dates

February 10, 5-7pm

February 12, 10am-12pm

May 12, 5-7pm

May 14, 10am-12pm

August 11, 5-7pm

August 13, 10am-12pm

November 10, 5-7pm

November 12, 10am-12pm

Food Commodities

(The Emergency Food Assistance Program, TEFAP)

FROM is a Kent County distribution site for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), or Food Commodities. This is a federally funded program that provides emergency food and nutrition assistance to individuals and families who meet the qualifications.

In order to participate, you must meet one of the current USDA TEFAP guidelines listed below

  • live in Kent County
  • need emergency food assistance
  • participate in one of the following
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
    • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), or Senior Commodities
    • Family Independence Program (FIP)
    • Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Households with children who receive free/reduced priced meals at their school through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

You do not need to pre-register, you may simply show up during Food Commodities distribution days.

What to Expect

Food Commodities is held during food pantry hours, four times a year. Those wanting to receive commodities will simply come to the food pantry, sign in, and will receive a pre-packed box of food.

2021 Senior Commodities Dates

June 9, 5-7pm

June 11, 10am-12pm

July 14, 5-7pm

July 16, 10am-12pm

August 11, 5-7pm

August 13, 10am-12pm

September 8, 5-7pm

September 10, 10am-12pm

October 13, 5-7pm

October 15, 10am-12pm

November 10, 5-7pm

November 12, 10am-12pm

December 8, 5-7pm

Senior Food Commodities

(Commodity Supplemental Food Program, CSFP)

FROM is a Kent County distribution site for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program- CSFP, or Senior Food Commodities. This federally funded program helps improve the health of older adults with low incomes by providing them with a monthly distribution of nutritious USDA foods.

In order to participate, you must meet current CSFP guidelines

  • be age 60 or older,
  • live in Kent County
  • be below 130% of the federal poverty level (Click here to see current federal poverty guidelines)

What to Expect

Senior Food Commodities is held during food pantry hours, once a month. Those wanting to receive senior food commodities will need to pre-register for the pre-packed box of food by calling 616-897-8260 or by visiting during food pantry hours.

Lunch Buddies

Lunch Buddies will not be operating during Summer 2021 due to food being distributed at Lowell High School as well as Englehart Library

FROM’s Kid’s Lunch Buddies program provides five free lunches each week for school aged children during school breaks (Winter, Spring, and Summer) to help families in need stretch their grocery budget when their children are home from school and can’t access school lunches.

Lunch Buddies is available to families with children (ages 3-18) that

  • live in the Lowell Area School District
  • are in need of emergency food
  • or are in a household where the income falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (Click here to see current federal poverty guidelines)

Please contact our Connections Office at (6160) 897-8260 ext. 124 with any questions.

Christmas Food Basket

Many individuals and families like to celebrate Christmas with a special holiday meal, but when you have other needs, purchasing special holiday foods may not be an option.

FROM’s Christmas Food Basket provides a holiday meal with all the fixings for our neighbors in need.

FROM’s Christmas Food Basket is available for individuals and families who

  • live in the Lowell Area School District
  • are in a household where the income falls at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (Click here to see current federal poverty guidelines)
  • are in need of food for a Christmas meal

Registration is required. To register, please visit during food pantry hours between November 1 and December 1. Dates will be posted on the website as well as Facebook when they are finalized.

How Can I Help?

Interested in learning how you can help with our Healthy Food Options programs? Visit Other Ways to Give for ways to help including what items you can donate and available volunteer opportunities.