Helping Hands Food Pantry received the 2018 Beacon of Light award from the Food Bank Council of Michigan in recognition of its contributions to hunger relief in Charlotte and Eaton County. 

Helping Hands was one of seven agencies across the state honored this year. Each of the Food Bank Council’s seven regions selected one recipient.

“We were nominated for this award by the Greater Lansing Food Bank as the as being notable among the 150 agencies they partner with for our efficiency and effectiveness,” said Phil Grimwood, director of Helping Hands.

Grimwood accepted the award on behalf of Helping Hands at the Michigan Harvest Gathering luncheon held Nov. 8 at the Country Club of Lansing. 

“It is a privilege to honor the director, volunteers and board of directors for their extraordinary dedication and vision in helping to make sure no one goes hungry,” said Dr. Philip Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, during the award presentation. Knight praised the Helping Hands team for their “willingness to reach out even more and to do whatever they can to improve the lives of those they serve.” 

Helping Hands has served the greater Charlotte area since 1982. So far this year, nearly 5,000 local families have received 470,000 pounds of food, free of charge. 

“We expect that 2018 will be a record-breaking year for us in terms of the number of people served and the amount of food delivered,” said Grimwood. “The need in our community continues to grow. That is why we are working toward constructing a new, larger facility to better serve our clients.” 

Helping Hands Food Pantry is located at 600 S. Cochran, Charlotte, and is open Tuesday through Thursday. More information is available at

Article submitted by Rachel Cabose, communications coordinator for Helping Hands Food Pantry.