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 […]

Affordable Farm Market Highlight: The Green Apple

Over the last six months we have been highlighting an affordable farm market that is a part of the HAELFS Collaborative. HAELFS stands for Health, Access, and Equity in our Local Food System. The Collaborative is finishing its third year and includes five pantry resource centers. Since the collaborative has begun, each partner site has opened an affordable food market in their community. Each market creates access for everyone in their community to acquire nutritious food at a low cost. Produce available is sourced from local small farms, stimulating the local economy. Together, we are working to create a culture […]

When Crisis Mode Becomes the Norm: Interrupting a System of Emergency with a System of Justice

West Michigan is known for its deeply rooted and abundant philanthropy. In the food access sector we have hundreds of non-profits, churches, and agencies working to address hunger and food insecurity via an emergency charity food system that is now over four decades old.   As the global pandemic hit our local community, food access organizations that existed before COVID-19, and those that started due to COVID-19, have worked to respond to the lack of access to food heightened by the virus and its economic impacts. There are many community members struggling as a result of this current crisis, but disparities related to issues such as income, housing, and food existed long […]

Books our Good Food Team are Talking About

We wanted to share a few resources our Good Food team have read, and are talking about in our community! The two books below are some of our Good Food System Initiatives go-to resources when talking about how we can move forward from a charity mindset, transforming how we think about food pantries in our community.  The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis. If you know our Good Food Team, you know they love the work of the Community Food Centres Canada. This books shares their […]

Access’ Food Justice Training unites community toward common goal

Cultivating solutions to food insecurity is far from a single-organization job. It requires a community of activists for the good food system. On Tuesday, April 11, Access of West Michigan hosted the Food Justice Training event to promote greater awareness of “good food system” values. In attendance were 45 members and leaders of local organizations working together to work toward food security. Organizations represented included United Church Outreach Ministries, World Renew, United Way, Hope Farms, Kids’ Food Basket and many others. The morning began with a presentation on the definitions of food justice, food security and environmental sustainability. Jeff Smith from the […]