a group of walkers for the St. Mark's Breakfast Cafe team, standing atop the steps of the church building.

Walk for Good Food 2021: St. Mark’s Breakfast Café

This post is part of a series of interviews of recipient agencies for the Access of West Michigan 2021 Walk for Good Food. This year, we have 13 in total, each with their own role in creating a thriving Good Food system in West Michigan. Read below to see why Good Food is important to their work, and check out our website at accessofwestmichigan.org/walk to learn more or to walk with us! AWM: how would you describe your organization — what is your mission and what work do you do towards that mission?   SMBC: We are an inclusive community […]

a photo of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in GR. The grey stones of the building look nice against a vibrant blue sky, and the trees are green.

Walk for Good Food 2021: Westminster Downtown Food Pantry

This post is part of a series of interviews of recipient agencies for the Access of West Michigan 2021 Walk for Good Food. This year, we have 13 in total, each with their own role in creating a thriving Good Food system in West Michigan. Read below to see why Good Food is important to their work, and check out our website at accessofwestmichigan.org/walk to learn more or to walk with us! AWM: how would you describe your organization — what is your mission and what work do you do towards that mission?   WDFP: Through the power of the […]

Members of the Kent County Food Policy Council seated at some tables, all intent on taking notes.

Walk for Good Food 2021: Kent County Food Policy Council

This post is part of a series of interviews of recipient agencies for the Access of West Michigan 2021 Walk for Good Food. This year, we have 13 in total, each with their own role in creating a thriving Good Food system in West Michigan. Read below to see why Good Food is important to their work, and check out our website at accessofwestmichigan.org/walk to learn more or to walk with us! AWM: how would you describe your organization — what is your mission and what work do you do towards that mission?   KCFPC: The Kent County Food Policy […]

Exploring Fair Food

Like the other tenets, there are specific goals which underlie the effort towards Fair Food. These goals include that the autonomy and humanity of workers all along the food chain are respected and that the food system, generally, be founded on a base of good, fair paying jobs. These goals can be further broken down into things like safe working conditions, consistent communication with and listening to and among workers, and security from threat through wages or a party like I.C.E. Fair Food is unique among the Good Food tenets in that there have been multiple fair food movements over […]

Exploring Healthy Food Work

When it comes to putting our definition of Healthy Food into practice, there is an important thing to keep in mind: while there are some general characteristics that are common to foods we call “healthy” (such as nutrient-rich and low in added fats, sugars, or salts), everyone is going to have a different approach to what food is healthy for them. If you recall, the definition of Healthy Food in the Michigan Good Food Charter is food that, “provides nourishment and enables people to thrive.” In order to thrive, we not only need access to fresh, whole, nutritious foods, but […]

Exploring Green Food Work

While it is difficult to completely separate the different tenets of the Good Food System idea from one another, there are some goals that are specific to each tenet. When we talk about “Green” food, the goals we have in mind often are centered around making a food system that works with, rather than against, an area’s indigenous ecosystem. As we mentioned before, a food system that looks like this would not be a new invention – people across the world and across time have done this, and this is still practiced by many Indigenous American communities today.  Throughout Michigan’s history and especially within […]

Stop AAPI Hate Statement

Stop AAPI Hate Statement We condemn the hate and intolerance towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community that continues to take place in our community and across the United States. We lament the tragic events that took place in Atlanta last week, a mass shooting that killed six Asian women. Since March 2020 the organization Stop AAPI Hate has recorded 3,795 hate incident reports across the United States. Anti-Asian racism has a long history in the United States. And while this is not new, it is reported that hate crimes against Asian Americans in U.S. cities grew by just about 150% in 2020 (PBS). This is horrific, destructive, and has to stop. Below is Access’ continued […]

Reflection and Statement on Antiracism and Recent Events

“… being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it.” -Amanda Gorman, 2021 Inaugural Poet As we begin Black History Month, as well pass the one year mark since Access launched our current antiracism team, we wanted to pause and reflect on our commitment to the work of antiracism as well as the events we’ve witnessed in the past month. In January we watched as our nation celebrated a time-honored tradition of the beginning of a new presidential administration. Amanda Gorman recited her inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb, […]

Juneteenth

Today Access of West Michigan is honoring and celebrating Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all staff. This day is an important day of our history. Juneteenth takes place on June 19 and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.   “Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which […]

Black lives matter.

Black lives matter. We believe this, we stand behind this statement, and we are committed to making it true at Access of West Michigan and throughout our community. We stand with the Black community in calling for needed change. We grieve the lives lost unjustly to police brutality throughout our history, most recently Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. We recognize that there are names that have not made into our headlines and that countless lives have been lost to racism. We mourn, we feel pain, sorrow, anger, and we know we must act. As a non-profit that has […]