September is Hunger Action Month. In Muskegon County, 11.8% of our community members are facing food insecurity. When children are hungry, they can’t focus on their schoolwork and even show increased hyperactivity and aggression. For adults, food insecurity can lead to difficult decisions like choosing between food and rent, bills, healthcare and transportation.
That’s why the Muskegon YMCA is working to ensure our community members have access to healthy food through a variety of nutrition services and programs. For adults in the Muskegon area, the Y runs the Veggie Van, a mobile farmers market offering affordable produce, as well as Cooking Matters classes, which provide nutrition education and cooking resources. Both of these initiatives are provided in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.
“We love to bring our fresh fruits and vegetables to those that are homebound or unable to drive to the grocery store,” says Amy Woodring and Lane Dyer, who operate the Veggie Van for the Y. “The YMCA Veggie Van helps our community in this very way. We are a mobile farmers market that comes right to several senior and low-income housing communities in the Muskegon Area. Our seniors depend on us each and every week, and we love to see the smiles on their faces when our van arrives.”
For kids, the Y is a Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program certified provider. This past summer, the Y provided 669 lunches for kids at Bethany Church’s CATCH Camp, as well as fed children at Camp Pendalouan, and partnered to provide food for students at Reeths-Puffer and Fruitport Community Schools during the Healthy Out of School Time program.
This work is made possible through partnerships, volunteers, and support from our community. Learn more and get involved at muskegonymca.org.