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?
R&T: The Revive and Thrive Project supports individuals and their families struggling with serious illness with nourishing meals during treatment. Teens help prepare the meals providing them with healthy eating skills and leadership development while activating their efforts in service to others. We link individuals, local food growers, educators and the healthcare community to promote the connection between food and health.
Our mission: Combining the power of nourishing foods with the heart of community service to support those facing health crises, empower teens and promote local food systems. Our vision: To support individual health, and the health of the community, by providing valuable opportunities that will positively influence dietary and eating behaviors through experiential and nutrition education programs centered on whole, fresh, local seasonal foods.
Our goals are
- to positively impact the health of the individuals and the community by restoring the place of naturally produced, local, farm fresh foods to our table and promote the relationship of these foods to our health
- to empower teenagers through experiential education and service learning to develop leadership skills, job skills and encourage lifelong healthy eating behaviors
- to provide nutrition education resources to reduce diet related disease, promote survivorship and support overall health and wellness
- to support local sustainable food producers and local food systems.
AWM: how does the Good Food Systems goal (of fair, healthy, green, and affordable food) impact the way that your organization sees its mission or does its work?
R&T: our entire organization revolves around and supports Good Food!
AWM: what would you like to see come out of this year’s Walk for Good Food?
R&T: We would like to have more people have a better understanding of why local food systems are important and how they can incorporate more local foods into everyday living.
AWM: Does your organization have a favorite food memory?
R&T: We don’t necessarily have one, many of our food related memories are the stories we hear from our meal recipients and the positive impact meals have had on their lives.