Some communities around Grand Rapids are getting a nutritional boost, which is even more crucial during the pandemic.
The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM), Heartside Gleaning, the Hispanic Center of West Michigan (HCWM) and Mercy Health have collaborated to offer Heartside Gleaning’s “Good Food Box” program as part of the NKFM’s diabetes community education that Mercy Health is funding in the Latino community. The Good Food Box (GFB) program provides fresh produce purchased from or donated by area farmers markets to city neighborhoods called “food deserts” for their lack of stores selling fresh food items. Although the partnership started in early 2020, pandemic fallout such as job losses and inability to shop for groceries has increased the number of families needing food assistance.
The limited access to food, leaves many Latino residents to rely on soup kitchens and food pantries. That means, fresh food is lacking. Good Food Boxes, Heartside Gleaning also delivers fresh items to food pantries and free or low-cost meal programs throughout the city.
There is a Diabetes Prevention Program offers a similar curriculum and approach to participants at risk for developing diabetes. For more information on diabetes or these programs, visit nkfm.org or call 616-458-9520.
To learn more about the Good Food Box program, contact heartsidegleaning.org