Fresh Food Initiative
With cold temperatures and increased bills, this time of year often brings the question “Where can I get help with food?” The Barry County United Way would like to remind citizens about a great resource in our community – The Fresh Food Initiative. The Hastings Fresh Food Initiative, in particular, is a local food distribution program through the Barry County United Way, in partnership with the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. It was created to assist families when the food budget gets a little tight. Operating weekly at the Green Street United Methodist Church, this program relies completely on private donations and grants, serving approximately 150 boxes of fresh and packaged food are distributed weekly in the effort to offer assistance to families in need.
The Hastings Fresh Food Initiative site is a non-qualifying program and is open to the public. Any family who has a need for a little extra food is encouraged to come to one of the Fresh Food locations list below. By receiving a box of food, families are then able to use the extra money to help pay monthly bills and expenses such as utilities, insurance, rent/mortgage
Upon arrival at the Hastings Fresh Food Initiative site, each family will need to sign in with their name, zip code and how many people are in the household. Each household may receive only one allocation of food and only one box per household is permitted. Families in need are asked to bring their own box or laundry basket to carry their items home in. After the truck arrives on site the food is unloaded, sorted, counted and the distribution begins.
The community support for this program is outstanding, from the monetary contributions to sustain the program to the commitment of the volunteers that consistently serve on a weekly basis. Volunteers of all ages are always welcome, needed, and appreciated to assist in the distribution of the food. If you are interested in volunteering for this program, donating, or have any other questions about the Fresh Food Initiative, please contact the Barry County United Way & Volunteer Center at 269-945-4010.
Where are the local Fresh Food Initiatives?
Tuesday Distribution includes: 1.) Maple Valley Community of Hope (Nashville) – Every Tuesday, 9:30-10:30am. Maple Valley School district only; for more information, please call (517) 852-0664. 2.) Middleville Local #1002 – 3rd Tuesday of every month, 4:00pm. For more information, please call (269) 795-9581.
Wednesday Distribution includes: 1.) Hastings First United Methodist Church – Every Wednesday, 9:00am. For more information, please call (269) 945-4010. 2.) Freeport United Methodist Church – 3rd Wednesday of every month at 10am. For more information, please call (616) 813-6975. 3.) Soups On – St. Francis Church, Shelbyville – Every Wednesday from 7-9am. Call (269) 664-5962 for more information.
In addition to the Fresh Food Initiatives, there are several other resources available for those in need of food assistance including food pantries, served meals and supplemental assistance programs. For more information, please call 211 or the Barry County United Way 269-945-4010 to find a program or location that may best fit your needs.