GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The West Michigan community came together to support vulnerable populations amid the pandemic, but despite the emergency response to COVID-19, Access of West Michigan says increasing demand for fresh, healthy food is a long-term goal.
“There’s been an excellent response especially among food service providers and food organizations coming together to share resources to share food and ideas, that’s been a really encouraging thing to be a part of," says Good Food Systems Director Erin Skidmore. “We continue to prioritize even during this pandemic investment into local systems, growing health for our community and working through the lens of food justice."
Skidmore says that with each new program and partnership, Access of West Michigan learns more about the complexity of our food system. And as the West Michigan inches closer to a new normal, the need for long-term investments to improve our food systems will continue to exist in our community.
"As we’ve seen during COVID-19, many more people have lost their jobs, are facing health concerns and it really does bring to light and highlight our system in place," Skidmore says. "And we need a better food system so that when emergencies like this arise, we have less and less families in our system in our community who need to seek these kind of services.”
Amid the ongoing pandemic, Access of West Michigan has been working to onboard three new Good Food Partners to connect individuals and families to fresh food and address chronic illness as well.
They are listed here:
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