FARM TO PANTRY WEEK 2018
The Farm to Pantry program at Access of West Michigan aims to address food insecurity by increasing access to locally grown fruits and vegetables. By investing at local farmers and creating affordable healthy food retail sites through our partnering pantry resource centers we are cultivating win-win solutions to build a more resilient food system. Our Farm to Pantry programs address the health disparities in Kent Counties low income neighborhoods through powerful education, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) cohorts, Pantry Farm Markets open 20 hours a week, and much more. The five sites currently operating Farm to Pantry programs include North Kent Connect, The Other Way Ministries, The Pantry, United Church Outreach Ministries (UCOM), and SECOM Resource Center. 100% of your donations to our Fresh Food Fund go towards purchasing healthy, locally sourced fruits and vegetables for the neighbors that utilize these resource centers.
SHAPING HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES
In our Farm to Pantry Program, families connect with local food pantry resource centers to receive fresh farm foods purchased and donated from local farms. Families also participate in classes on how to use CSA food to prepare fresh and healthy meals and how to properly preserve and store that fresh food. Classes also help families understand Food System history, agriculture, community, justice, and organization. These classes aim to equip participants on how to change local food systems to help make local neighborhoods healthier places to live and grow.
As a result of our Farm to Pantry Program, local pantries have taken the initiative to shift to healthier messaging and education, to create strong action amongst community members toward healthier environments around them. In connecting with local farmers, our participating pantries have received over $23,000 worth of donated produce from local farms this year.