The Health Department awarded the funding through its Building Healthy Communities program. 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,” says Tedi Milgrom, MPH, health promotion coordinator with Washtenaw County Health Department. “These projects align with our work to support health equity by engaging residents and investing resources where most needed in Washtenaw County.”
Funding was awarded to Food Gatherers, Growing Hope, and the Farm at St. Joe’s for the following projects:
- Food Gatherers is engaging partner agencies and food pantry clients in conversations on improving hunger relief programs. Clients will share insights and perspectives about how Food Gatherers can support agencies to make more healthy food available in our community. This project will support Food Gatherers in identifying several strategies to improve the quality of programming, increase the amount and kinds of healthy food going to pantries, and better meet the needs of their program clients.
- Ypsilanti Farmers Markets, funded and staffed by Growing Hope, will host the Power of Produce (POP) Club to encourage children ages 5-12 to taste and experience fresh produce. In this eight-week program, children can become POP Club members to receive $2 per week in tokens to spend on fruits and vegetables. They can also participate in conversations with farmers, educational games, and produce tastings. The program aims to expose children to new fruits and vegetables, empower them to make their own shopping decisions, and increase fruit and vegetable intake for the whole family.
- The Farm at St. Joe’s will build a new hoop house for growing plants from seeds and nurturing seedlings. A hoop house is a structure characterized by a half-round "hoop" shape that is used as a green house or a season extender for growing food. The hoop house will provide a dedicated year-round place to start crops while teaching youth and adults the skills to plant and grow food (in gardens or containers) at home. The hoop house will support the Produce to Patients and Farm Share Plus programs that provide fresh produce to food insecure families in Washtenaw County.
Building Healthy Communities
This funding is through Washtenaw County Health Department’s Building Healthy Communities program. Building Healthy Communities creates policy, system, and environment changes that support physical activity and healthy eating. The program is funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and aims to reduce cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other chronic conditions. Washtenaw County Health Department works with partners and residents to implement local projects where they are most needed and can be most effective.