Mel Trotter Ministries says that homelessness in the Grand Rapids area is on the rise. There are 4 main reasons for it.

  • COVID-19
  • Lack of affordable housing in our community
  • Lack of living wages
  • Mental health assistance and availability

This must have been on someone's mind. This picture was posted on Grand Rapids Informed, a Facebook group.

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Facebook
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The caption read,

"Nice going Jimmy Johns! Free sandwiches left out on a bench at Wealthy & Division! #givingback"

I placed a call into the Jimmy John's located at 63 Monroe Center St. NE to ask about it. I was told it is not Jimmy John's policy to pass out sandwiches to homeless. Jerry, the person I spoke with, mentioned that Jimmy John's location is franchised by MBK.  He said that years ago, Jimmy John's would take day-old bread to homeless shelters but not currently.

The act of kindness has created a stir. 

One comment stated,

"I’d much rather they leave some bread for whoever needs it than tossing it in the dumpster. Food waste makes me really sad, especially during the pandemic."

Another stated,

"BRAVO let's support this restaurant helping to support the community."

The Rapidian states there are 800+ homeless people in greater Grand Rapids area. More than half of those people are families with children. Winter can be the most difficult time of the year for people living without a home because it gets too cold.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
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Some on the thread are assuming it was a Jimmy John's employee. Perhaps it was a customer. Whoever it was, deserves a pat on the back. However, more often than not, people who do thoughtful gestures like this don't want recognition.

If you feel inspired to help, here is a list of homeless shelters in Grand Rapids.

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