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Washtenaw County Health Department awards $30K to three local food projects

Funding comes from department’s Building Healthy Communities program

The Food Gatherers warehouse.
The Food Gatherers warehouse. (Credit: Food Gatherers)

ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw County Health Department has awarded $30,000 in grant funding to three local food organizations for their work in improving access to healthy foods.

The recipients of the grants - funded through the department’s Building Healthy Communities program -- are Food Gatherers, Ypsilanti Farmers Market and The Farm at St. Joe’s.

According to a release, Building Healthy Communities “creates policy, system, and environment changes that support physical activity and healthy eating. The program aims to reduce cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other chronic conditions.”

“We are incredibly excited to support our local partners and work together to build foundations for all residents to live healthy lifestyles,” health promotion coordinator with Washtenaw County Health Department Tedi Milgrom said in a statement. “These projects align with our work to support health equity by engaging residents and investing resources where most needed in Washtenaw County.”

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The grant recipients were awarded funding for the following projects:

Food Gatherers: Partner agency engagement

As Washtenaw County’s largest food rescue program, Food Gatherers will be holding conversations with partner agencies and food pantry clients to learn how Food Gatherers can further support local agencies to make healthy food available to more residents. The project aims to increase the amount and variety of healthy foods in local food pantries, improve the quality of programming and help ensure clients’ needs are met.

For more information about Food Gatherers, visit www.foodgatherers.org.

Ypsilanti Farmers Market: Power of Produce Club

The Ypsilanti Farmers Market, which is staffed and funded by Growing Hope, will be hosting an eight-week program called Power of Produce Club for children ages 5-12 to taste fresh produce. Children who become POP Club members will receive $2 each week in tokens to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits. During the program, children can also participate in educational games and have conversations with farmers. The program aims to empower children to experience new foods, make their own shopping decisions and encourage their families to increase their fresh produce intake.

For more information about Ypsilanti Farmers Market, click here.

The Farm at St. Joe’s: New hoop house

The Farm at St. Joe’s will construct a brand-new hoop house that it will use to grow plants. The type of green house is marked by its half-round “hoop” shape and can be used year-round to start crops. The new hoop house will support the Farm Share Plus and Produce to Patients programs that provide food insecure families in Washtenaw County with fresh produce.

To learn more about The Farm at St. Joe’s, visit www.stjoesfarm.org.


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