Welcome to the
Community Food Network
The Community Food Network is a member of the Michigan Food Councils working with Community Gardens and Food Pantries in Montcalm & Ionia Counties. Our partners include the MSU Extension, Master Gardeners, United Way & Volunteer Connections, Ionia County Health Dept.and the Mid-Michigan District Health Dept. The planning committee is formed with representatives from each community partner, community garden and many local food pantries. Anyone who wants to help with community gardens or distributing food to those in need are welcome to join.
The Community Food Network will facilitate and support community-grown food sources and related distribution systems in order to increase access to locally grown, fresh produce and promote it's use through educational opportunities within the community.
CFN Planning Committee .
The Community Food Network is a Planning Group designed to support Community Gardens and Food Distribution Resources. Representatives from several local organizations meet on the first Monday of each month to assist with garden coordination, distribution needs, resource development, marketing, volunteer recruitment, and educational planning. This group is open to anyone who is interested in helping with meetings taking place at 1:30pm at the following locations.
NEW 2013 Meeting Dates!
Mid- Michigan District Health Department
February 12th- Strategic Planning Meeting 11am-4pm
April 1st rescheduled due to Spring Break for April 8th!
Sub-Committee Meetings (scheduled as needed)
Garden and Food Pantry Committee-
Awareness and Resource Committee- Posters available for local farmers and farmer's markets accepting Bridge cards.
Volunteers and Special Projects Committee- 2013 Projects will include a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on April 25th, Hunger Expo in May, a Harvest Party in September and a County-wide Food Drive in November.
Education Committee- This Committee will hold a working lunch beginning at 12:00pm on the 1st Monday of the Month before the CFN Planning Meeting. Bring your own lunch and join us at the Mid-Michigan District Health Dept on April 8th! Contact Tamice Gates for more information.
Community Gardens are maintained by volunteers and produce is donated to local families in need.
Volunteers from local service groups help out each garden including MSU-E Master Gardeners, the United Way & Volunteer Connections and the Ionia Kids Club.
More volunteers are always needed and always welcomed at special events and work days. Work days will be scheduled soon, please check the calendar link for specific days or contact the garden coordinator for the garden that you would like to volunteer at!
Volunteers can join a committee to help with planning gardens, fundraising, marketing, distribution, educational classes or volunteer events.
Helping to Feed Local Families in Need
Fresh fruits and vegetables grown in local community gardens are distributed to families in need through local food pantries, soup kitchens, and other distribution resources. Volunteers pick up produce from the gardens, sort and package the produce into family size portions and deliver it to food pantries. Food pantries then distribute the available produce to clients who need help. Other distribution resources include the Food Truck run by Feeding America and local Soup Kitchens.
In 2009, volunteers contributed over 935 hours in community gardens and provided over 34,155 lbs of fresh produce to local food pantries.
What Is Plant a Row for the Hungry?
Launched in 1995 by the Garden Writers Association (GWA), Plant A Row for the Hungry is a people-helping-people program that encourages gardeners to grow a little extra and donate the produce to local soup kitchens and food pantries serving the homeless and hungry in their local communities.
The Need Is Great
Over 36 million Americans live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger daily.
Almost 14 million people facing hunger each day are children.
1-in-8 Americans face hunger daily.
How can YOU make a difference locally?
Use the Community Food Network Map to find a food pantry or community garden near you!
Contact the Community Food Network to register your "Row" as a local partner!
Print out this Donation Card to send with your produce to a local food pantry to assist us in tracking donations.
Community Food Network Slideshow