Coming together to feed Muskegon with two drive-thru food distribution events

The past year has been rough on a lot of people — COVID-19, unemployment, medical expenses. There are many causes of hunger.

Using $50,000 from the CARES Act Community Development Block Grant funding, the city of Muskegon, AgeWell Services, and the Muskegon YMCA will host two curbside food distribution events.

The first event will be noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 30. from noon at Marsh Field, 1800 Peck St. The second curbside event will be noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 7, in the Baker College parking lot, 878 Jefferson St., in downtown Muskegon near the Muskegon Farmers Market.

No restrictions

Both events are open to the public and are first come, first serve (one food box per person). There are no age restrictions. The events will be drive-thru. Participants will receive a bundle of frozen meals from AgeWell Services and a produce box from the Muskegon YMCA Veggie Van.

Organizers will hand out 500 meal boxes at each event. The number, says Alicia Roberts with AgeWell Services of West Michigan, is twice as many typically distributed at an AgeWell curbside event, because these events will have no age restrictions.

No one will be turned away, Roberts says.

“We’re assuming if you’re in line, you’re hungry,” she says.

No one, she says, should be ashamed to ask for help.

“Everybody at some point in their life needs help,” Roberts says.

Each food box will include a recipe that uses the fresh produce provided.

Food for all

The YMCA Veggie Van, a mobile farmers market, runs year round, making stops in urban neighborhoods throughout Muskegon, ensuring that fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise have limited access to fresh produce.

Additionally, the van accepts SNAP, Senior Project Fresh/Market FRESH, and the Double Up Food Bucks Program.

AgeWell Services of West Michigan provides six different services to adults 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties – Meals on Wheels, Lunch & Activity Centers, Wellness (55 and over), Senior Medical Transportation, Discount Dining Program, and SafeSeniors. 

AgeWell Services of West Michigan has worked to help feed aging neighbors since 1973. When the city of Muskegon called on the nonprofit to use its experience to help feed the city, the AgeWell team was ready to pitch in.

AgeWell serves about 1,500 meals a day through its Meals on Wheels and mealsite programs. During the pandemic, AgeWell has distributed 40,000 meals at 31 curbside events. 

Read more articles by Andrea Goodell.

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