Partners to provide free meals to foster families for Valentine’s Day

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Foster Kent Kids and Closet of Hope will distribute meals provided by The Candied Yam on Feb. 13. Courtesy Jessica Ann Tyson

Foster Kent Kids is collaborating with Closet of Hope to distribute 115 meals from The Candied Yam to local foster families for Valentine’s Day.

Julie Driver Courtesy Closet of Hope

A coalition comprised of the West Michigan Partnership for Children, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the five private foster care agencies in Kent County — Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s, Samaritas and Wellspring Lutheran Services — Foster Kent Kids said Wednesday that it will collaborate with Closet of Hope to distribute 115 meals to local foster families for Valentine’s Day. Meals will be sourced from the local restaurant The Candied Yam.

Foster Kent Kids and Closet of Hope will distribute the fresh meals Feb. 13.

Closet of Hope is a volunteer-run resource providing clothing and other items free of charge to children of foster, adoptive, kinship, guardianship and safe families in the community.

Jessica Ann Tyson Courtesy Jessica Ann Tyson

“Together with Foster Kent Kids, we are excited to celebrate foster families and love on them with a special Valentine’s meal that they don’t have to cook,” said Julie Driver, Closet of Hope co-founder. “We seek to serve this community to help lighten their heavy load and remind them that we are in this together.”

Jessica Ann Tyson, owner of The Candied Yam, is providing Foster Kent Kids a $1,500 discount from the cost of the meals.

“Before being adopted, I experienced food insecurity, rummaging through trash cans in order to eat,” Tyson said. “I’m excited to help Foster Kent Kids provide meals to local families because food is meant to be cooked with love and shared with family, friends and community.”

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