We all need a little extra help at some point in our lives. If you are a resident of northern Kent County, North Kent Connect may be a resource for you to receive food, housing assistance, job services, and much more. For more information about becoming a Client, scroll below or please call us at (616) 866-3478 to speak with a Case Manager.

Many of our services are listed below, and many are free and open to the public, as well as to North Kent Connect Clients.

Getting Started

To register for the first time or when updating your files, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Proof of Identity: Michigan photo ID or ID for all adult members in the home.
  • Valid piece of mail for all adult members in the home – dated within past 30 days, no junk mail.
  • Verification for school age children residing in home
    • School records that have current address
    • OR DHHS decision letter listing all household members on the case
  • Proof of Income for all adult members in the home (anything received within the last 30 days) and supporting documents for all Social Service Agencies (FIP, Food Stamps, WIC, etc.)
  • If there’s no income, paperwork will need to be signed at appointment time.
  • Please see a Case Manager if you have questions or call (616) 866-3478.

Client Food Programs

The Pantry

Our FREE Pantry is open to NKC Clients on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Everyone receives staple items, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, lean meats, and personal care items. Clients can visit the Pantry once a month, and you can also request referrals to our Partner Pantries.

Senior Pantry

(Also known as “Meals on Wheels.”)

Every 3rd Thursday of the month, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

All senior NKC clients qualify.

Partner Pantries

As a North Kent Connect client, you can visit multiple area pantries each month.

Call our Pantry Referral Line at (616) 866-3478 and press 5. Leave a message with your name, pantry you wish to visit, and date you would like to go. Wait for a call back and confirmation from a North Kent Connect staff member. All referrals must be made 24 hours in advance. (To visit a pantry on a Monday, please call the prior Thursday and leave us a message.)

It is important that when you are referred, you are able to keep the appointment. Please be considerate of the other families who may be waiting for an opening; call us ASAP if you cannot make your appointment time.

Other Client Programs


Utilizing individualized case management and participation in educational groups, clients are empowered to meet their basic needs and increase their economic independence.

As a Step 2 participant, select Clients will be matched with a Case Manager each month to set and reach individual current and long-term goals. A monthly dinner meeting (5-8 members) provides a chance to offer and receive support, along with educational resources. 

To sign up, or simply learn more, please contact a North Kent Connect Case Manager at (616) 866-3478.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance depends on the availability of funds. If funding is available, we may be able to assist you with utility bills, back rent, or mortgage payments. Each assistance request must be evaluated for compliance with the rules and regulations of financial sponsors.

MI Bridges & MEAP

We are able to assist our clients with applying for MI Bridges. Meet with our MI Bridges Navigator to apply today.

Using MI Bridges, you can:

  • apply for benefits using a simplified and easy to understand application;
  • explore resources and save them to your MI Bridges profile;
  • easily view detailed benefit information or letters sent from MDHHS;
  • view verifications requested by MDHHS and upload documents to your case;
  • report changes about your case or renew your benefits; and
  • use MI Bridges in English, Spanish, or Arabic from your phone or computer.

Case Managers are able to assist clients with applying for DHHS benefits through MI Bridges. Appointments are available Monday thru Thursday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – noon. Clients are able to apply for utility, housing, food and cash assistance. Staff can also assist clients in filing their renewal documents.

We accept the MI Bridge Card for all Farm Stand purchases.

Partners on-site at NKC

Family Promise Day Center

A collaboration between Family Promise of Grand Rapids and North Kent Connect that aims to end homelessness, one area family at a time. Family Promise engages churches and community organizations to provide temporary basic needs to homeless families and children seeking permanent housing.

Please note that we are NOT a shelter.

Call (616) 475-5220 for an appointment

West Michigan Works!

West Michigan Works! offers job preparedness, assistance with job searches, resume writing, filing for unemployment, and more.

Open Tues., Wed., and Thurs. from 8 am-5 pm
(Closed from 12 pm-1 pm for lunch)
Call for more information or an appointment at (616) 228-6724

Kent County Health Department WIC North County Clinic

Provided for Kent County residents by the Kent County Health Department, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, education and support, referrals to other health care providers, high risk nutrition counseling, immunizations, and supplemental foods.

For more information or to apply for the WIC Program, please call (616) 632-7200. Office hours are by appointment only.

Arbor Circle

Arbor Circle’s mission is to transform the lives of children, adults, and families facing mental health, substance use and family concerns in a caring partnership with

Arbor Circle’s mission is to transform the lives of children, adults, and families facing mental health, substance use and family concerns in a caring partnership with their clients and diverse community.

Open Mondays
Call (616) 459-7215 ext. 6125 for an appointment

Federal Commodities

Quarterly federal commodities are available to anyone in Kent County from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the following dates. Please have your Michigan license or ID.

Location: North Kent Connect


February 9, 2023

May 11, 2023

August 10, 2023

November 9, 2023           

Senior Commodities

(via Kent County Community Action)

Every 3rd Monday of the month, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Must be at or below 130% of FPL; application required to receive food box.

How to Qualify as a Client

In order to become a Client of North Kent Connect:

  • You must live in our service area (NKC Service Map) which encompasses northern Kent County, Michigan (defined by the area north of 6 Mile Road and south of 22 Mile Road, east of Kenowa Avenue and west of Montcalm Avenue). These boundaries fall within the cities of Sparta, Kent City, Rockford, Belmont, Cedar Springs, and Sand Lake; please note that if you do not live within the above defined service area between these roads, you are not eligible to become a client of North Kent Connect at this time.
  • Your combined household income must be at or below 200 percent of the current Federal Poverty Level. (You must be able to provide verifiable documentation, such as bank statements, tax records, and pay stubs.) Additional information regarding income qualification can be found on the USDA website.
  • You must present a state-issued photo identification card for every adult in the household. For all children, bring most current documentation such as WIC papers, a copy of school records, DHHS decision letter, or birth certificate.
  • Lastly, you must bring a bill (e.g. utility, credit card) that is current within the past 30 days that matches the address listed on your photo ID.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call us at (616) 866-3478 to speak to one of our Case Managers.