A 54 passenger bus has been retrofit with a demonstration kitchen which will serve meals to
children year-round in partnership with the Greater Lansing Food Bank and the Lansing School District’s food vendor, SodexoMAGIC.
LANSING, MI -- The YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing’s Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen has a number of impactful programs lined up for the fall. Several programs will be implemented at various sites across the tri-county area.
The mobile kitchen will be doing farmers markets at the YMCA’s afterschool sites to promote financial literacy, as well as, to learn about tasting and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Students will learn to “purchase” the healthy options with play money. Additionally, each child will be able to take home a sack of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The YMCA stated that it will continue to work with local partners to offer food education and distribution with specific program objectives to educate children on meal preparation.
The mobile kitchen will also work on growing fresh fruits and vegetables, teaching kids how to garden and how to prepare the foods they grow.
Before and after school YMCA programs will be offered at a community partner’s location. The focus will be on physical activity using the SPARK curriculum. The ultimate goal is to put food in kids’ hands through gardening and exposure to new types of healthy foods and how to prepare them.
The mobile kitchen will partner with local programs on eating for those with specific chronic diseases and cancer.
With five YMCA of Metropolitan Lansing branches and a resident camp in Lake, Michigan, the mobile kitchen will deliver programs in each of the YMCA’s service areas to give the tri-county area youth, seniors and families access to learning healthy behavior and eating.
In 2015, the YMCA served more than 30,000 meals and 30,000 snacks during the summer feeding program. The organization began development of the Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen.
Local resident Jeff Woods attended the unveiling of the mobile food bus. He said, “This is a great opportunity to bring nourishing food to communities that otherwise would not have it. Learning about healthy food options lead to more fulfilling lives. Besides look at how great the bus looks! It is sure to be a reminder to eat healthy just by having it roll down the street."
Besides delivering meals, the demonstration portion of the kitchen will provide valuable hands-on education by showing youth and families alike how to prepare seasonal foods, read labels, how to use foods that are readily accessible and affordable and even how to set up gardens and grow food.
Printed in the September 4, 2016 - September 17, 2016 edition.