Generous Hands, Inc. is a small, non-profit organization, based in Vicksburg, Michigan, committed to helping families in time of need. In 2004 ten women in a local Bible study made a commitment to Vicksburg children to provide backpacks of food to those at risk to go hungry on the weekends. Our plan was simple, our concern was genuine, and the Vicksburg community supported us every inch of the way. That first year, twenty children at Sunset Lake Elementary School benefited from our commitment. Expansion to all five schools in the Vicksburg Community Schools district resulted in exponential growth of the Friday Pack program, so that during the 2015-2016 school year, over 330 Vicksburg children (and 148 children in surrounding communities where concerned citizens purchased Friday received weekly backpacks of food.
Generous Hands provides other benefits to the Vicksburg community as well. We have educated our community about hunger (more than 1 in 5 Michigan children live in poverty per 2015 Kids Count data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation). We have taught many children (and adults) about the value of community service, and provided a tangible way for concerned citizens to help hungry children. We have educated both children and adults about nutrition and what a healthy diet looks like. We have encouraged our Friday Pack families to make healthier food choices by providing weekly coupons for milk, bread and eggs at our local Family Fare store, and coupons for meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables at our local Farmer's Market. Finally, we have demonstrated that difficult community problems can be addressed by concerned, ordinary people.