The YMCA Veggie Van has put on the miles these last 6 months. From Coopersville to Holland to Whitehall you may have seen the bright, delicious fruit decaled vehicle make its way to a stop near you.
For three months, the YMCA Veggie Van partnered with Agewell Services and was provided COVID funding through the United Way of the Lakeshore and the Grand Haven Community Foundation to distribute meal bundles to seniors around West Michigan. Over the course of 10 weeks, almost 35,000 meals were given to seniors and provided them with not only the nutrition they needed but the opportunity to get out and say hello from the safety of their vehicles.
And that’s not all.
The YMCA Veggie Van continued its regular stops throughout the pandemic and is still going strong. Funded partially through the Muskegon County Senior Millage, the mobile farmers market makes several stops each week at various senior housing centers across Muskegon County making access to fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables a reality for many who could not otherwise acquire these foods. Many neighborhoods in Muskegon County are known as food deserts, which means they do not have a grocery store nearby to purchase fresh produce. Residents of these neighborhoods who may not have access to transportation are then left with few options to feed themselves and their families. In rolls the Veggie Van, a mobile farmers market.
At each stop, residents can shop for their own produce, or fill out a grocery list, and leave with fresh fruits and vegetables. The van often has extra supplies including food boxes donated through a partnership with MOCAP or you can purchase a smoothie mix to go with those bananas you just bought. The van accepts cash and credit, and also can accommodate your Double Up Food Bucks card to help stretch those dollars even further.
We also partner with Brownberry Foods and can provide sell by date expired healthy breads and goodies at a discounted price.
Call Jennifer Lambert, Director of Community Outreach Services, at 231.557.8295 to get more details. We also make weekly bulk produce orders, so if your small restaurant or business needs larger amounts of produce, give us a call. We would love to partner with you.