Published in Nonprofits

Nonprofit converts former Aldi into warehouse, offices to help deliver more food to students in need

BY Tuesday, February 23, 2021 02:14pm

GEORGETOWN TWP. — Hudsonville-based nonprofit Hand2Hand recently purchased a former Aldi grocery store to consolidate its office and warehouse space into one location.

The 15,600-square-foot building is located at 306 Chicago Drive in Georgetown Township near Jenison. The $1.9 million redevelopment will allow Hand2Hand — which delivers food to students on weekends and extended school breaks — to consolidate its operations and reach thousands more students as demand for services has increased. 


Hand2Hand purchased the building for $1.15 million on Dec. 22, 2020, according to property records. 

“For the past four years, we have been using office and warehouse spaces that were generously donated to us,” Cheri Honderd, founder and executive director of Hand2Hand, said in a statement. “We are very thankful for the space but are quickly outgrowing it.”

The nonprofit has had to turn schools down as the need for its services has increased, Honderd said. The new building will help expand Hand2Hand’s presence in West Michigan and provide food to about 10,000 more students, she said. 

Hand2Hand worked with Kentwood-based commercial real estate firm First Companies Inc. to close the sale. Grand Rapids-based AMDG Architects Inc. will design the space, and First Companies will also oversee the building renovations. Work is set to begin this month and is scheduled to be completed mid-summer. 

Hand2Hand mobilizes schools, churches and businesses to provide a backpack of food for students over the weekend. The nonprofit serves more than 8,000 students in 217 schools in 36 districts in West Michigan.

“It’s heartbreaking to know there are children in our own neighborhoods who experience the pain of hunger, but we are thankful for the team at Hand2Hand who are meeting this need,” First Companies Chief Operating Officer Matt Sink said in a statement. “It’s truly an honor to use our real estate, construction and property management services to help this worthy organization create a space that will reach more children in need.”

The project is partially funded by the Edward and June Prein Foundation and a $250,000 anonymous matching grant, among other donations.

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