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Tag Archive | "Heart of West Michigan United Way"

North Kent Connect hosts third annual Farm to Pantry program


2017 North Kent Connect’s Farm to Pantry participants visit Plainsong Farm to pick up their CSA share.

One local nonprofit organization takes healthy food initiatives to a deeper level. North Kent Connect, a Rockford based nonprofit committed to improving the lives of all people in northern Kent County, offers its clients a hands-on opportunity to learn about eating and shopping for healthy foods through its Farm to Pantry Program.

“Through our Farm to Pantry Program, clients learn various skills including how to pick fresh fruits and vegetables, properly store and cook them, and so much more,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director of North Kent Connect. “Clients also visit Plainsong Farm where they receive Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares to take home and apply their learnings to fresh produce of their own.”

“Since attending Farm to Pantry, I now know how to can my own vegetables as well as use unique spices that I wasn’t aware of before,” said Amy, frequent Farm to Pantry attendee. “I look forward to receiving fresh broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach from Plainsong Farm. The farm also introduced me to lemon thyme and oregano which I now cook with and use to add flavor to meals.”

North Kent Connect is using certified health experts to teach health-related topics focused on canning, container gardening, cooking with unfamiliar spices, preparing meals using the CSA shares, food justice, agriculture, and local food systems.

“Farm to Pantry has transformed my life,” said Addie, NKC client and program participant. “I have gained so much knowledge about healthy eating over the years of attending, and the confidence to experiment with different foods in the kitchen to share with my family. It’s

neat going to Plainsong Farm, meeting the farmers, and having access to locally-sourced produce.”

Partners of Farm to Pantry include Plainsong Farm, Access of West Michigan, Kent County Health Department and Heart of West Michigan United Way.

 

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Helping People And Changing Lives


Third grade students show their Compliment Collage’s they made to instill confidence through compliments.

Staff and students with one of the fleece tie blankets they made during the day of service projects.

This year CTA students have been able to work with an AmeriCorp Vista representative through the Heart of West Michigan United Way. Our high school students crafted tie blankets for Degage Ministries plus tie hats that they gifted to others. Some of the organizations that received the hats were Degage Ministries, North Kent Connect, and The Bridge. Elementary students read books with our high school students, and talked about the power of compliments.

Elementary students also decorated lunch bags for Kids Food Basket. We all enjoyed being able to give back to our community to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

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