Hope Center in Macomb
Supported by churches from across Macomb County and serving residents of Macomb County, Hope Center is a client choice food pantry and a one-stop shop of 17 human service programs. Client choice pantries allow patrons to select food items their families want and need, much like grocery store, reducing waste and making the process of acquiring emergency food a more dignified experience.
Michigan Nightlight: What really differentiates this program?
WW Community Connections, Inc Executive Director Chet Decker
: The client choice model is a best practices model of Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks and food pantries, which allows clients to select their own food, thereby eliminating wasted food. Allowing our client’s this power of choice helps them to maintain their dignity and self-respect, which coupled with our emphasis on service, makes coming to the Hope Center an enjoyable experience.
What are the keys to success for your program?
Our volunteers are essential to our ability to provide outstanding client service as well as operating our nonprofit at a high
Allowing our client's this power of choice helps them to maintain their dignity and self-respect...
level of efficiency with a minimum of overhead costs.
What existing challenges remain with this program and how do you plan to overcome them?
The Hope Center pantry has grown to be one of the three largest pantries in southeastern Michigan within two and a half years. This explosive growth and the demand for our services go hand in hand with increased costs to Hope Center. Funding, on the other hand, is getting more difficult to attract due to cuts in the federal budget to support food pantries and foundation funding that is becoming
The Hope Center pantry has grown to be one of the three largest pantries in southeastern Michigan within two and a half years.
increasingly competitive. So the short answer is funding.
How does your program address issues of equity?
We don’t make an issue of equity. Every client is treated with dignity and respect.
What was the hardest lesson learned in the past year?
The hardest lessons in the past year were living with the growing pains of an emerging organization; increasing capacity while maintaining a high level of client service; and increasing product flow to meet the demand for food.