Construction Company has Beef (& Pork!) with Young Farmers, Seniors, Recovery Program
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Wolverine Building Group topped tonnage with their “Meet the Meat” donation for 2023. Since 2019, the donation program has offered 3,079 pounds of meat to Michigan non-profits addressing food insecurity. The program purchases animals from young people raising beef and pork with programs connected to the Kent County Youth Agricultural Association, processes it for food, then donates the product to organizations in need.
The program began with Wolverine senior project manager, Jim Chambers, himself a pork farmer, suggested a great way to support the mission of Kent County Youth Fair would be to purchase animals at auction.
“These young people are learning the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, the science of agriculture, and essential leadership skills,” said Chambers. “Purchasing their animals helps reinforce their experience and gives them a return on investment, plus with Wolverine’s program, they learn more about the need in our wider community.”
Once the auction purchase is complete, the meat is processed at Byron Center Meats into accessible cuts for cooking. Wolverine works with a few of its non-profit partners each year to distribute the food. “We’ve been able to share the meat with programs like Feeding America, Community Food Club, United Methodist Community House and this year, Guiding Light,” shared Curt Mulder, president of Wolverine. “It creates a ripple effect, expanding the good started with these young people.”
The program reports back to the fair which community partners have received the donation and has even arranged for the youth to take a tour of the organizations that benefitted from their animals.
When watching the freezer at Guiding Light fill with freshly frozen, locally raised meat, April Calver, Food Services Manager for Guiding Light, was “amazed” at the amount of food one pig can provide. “The guys I cook for will be so excited when I ‘mix things up’ with this meat. They’re used to real basic stuff. This is going to be a real step up.” Guiding Light serves over 100 meals a day to participants in their recovery programs, training classes, and staff. “We plan on sharing what we have with other serving organizations downtown, too!”
The donation is part of Wolverine Building Group’s core commitment to ‘Positively Impacting People and Communities.’ “The company is dedicated to approaching construction with the whole ‘construction eco-system’ in focus. This ensures clients the highest value paired with strong values,” added Mulder.