The Washtenaw County Health Department is awarding $30,000 in grant funding for three community projects that are helping to improve access and consumption of healthy foods.
The funding was awarded through the health departments program, Building Healthy Communities. The program is funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and 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,” said Tedi Milgrom, health promotion coordinator with Washtenaw County Health Department.
The Washtenaw County Health Department works with partners and residents to implement local projects where they are most needed and can be most effective. The three community projects that received the grant funding are Food Gatherers, Growing Hope, and the Farm at St. Joe’s.
“These projects align with our work to support health equity by engaging residents and investing resources where most needed in Washtenaw County,” Milgrom said.
All three of the projects focus on improving the intake and learning of healthy foods in the local community.
Food Gatherers support agencies and food pantry clients to make more healthy food available for the community. With the money, Food Gatherers will identify several strategies to improve the quality of programming, increase the amount and kinds of healthy food going into pantries and be able to better meet the needs of their program clients.
Growing Hope funds and staffs Ypsilanti Farmers Markets, which will host the Power of Produce Club. This program is eight-weeks and will expose children ages five to twelve to new and different fruits and vegetables, empower and assist them in making their own shopping decisions and increase fruit and vegetable intake for the whole family.
The Farm at St. Joe’s will build a greenhouse type structure (called a hoop house), that will provide a year-round place for crops, as well as teach youth and adults skills to plant and grow produce at home. The hoop house will support the Produce to Patients and Farm Share Plus programs, which provide fresh produce to food-insecure families in Washtenaw County.