Corewell Health is the new name for Lakeland. Learn More

Newsroom

11/28/2023 8:52:00 PM Reporting from Niles, MI
Corewell Health, YMCA Increase Access to Healthy Foods Through Veggie Van™ Partnership
https://www.spectrumhealthlakeland.org/how-we-compare/newsroom/Detail/corewell-health--ymca-increase-access---to-healthy-foods-through-veggie-van--partnership
11/28/2023 8:52:00 PM
The Veggie Van™, a mobile farmers market, served 13 counties throughout Michigan this year, ensuring that free fruits and vegetables were available to individuals who otherwise had limited access. The program, a joint effort of Corewell Health™ and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, launched in 2018 to combat food insecurity and will continue for a sixth consecutive year in spring 2024. Through their partnership, 46,466 free pieces of produce were distributed to Michigan families in 2023.

Corewell Health, YMCA Increase Access to Healthy Foods Through Veggie Van™ Partnership

SpectrumHealth Lakeland

Corewell Health, YMCA Increase Access to Healthy Foods Through Veggie Van™ Partnership
Nov 28, 2023


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., November 28, 2023 – The Veggie Van™, a mobile farmers market, served 13 counties throughout Michigan this year, ensuring that free fruits and vegetables were available to individuals who otherwise had limited access. The program, a joint effort of Corewell Health™ and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, launched in 2018 to combat food insecurity and will continue for a sixth consecutive year in spring 2024.  

“Food insecurity and the cost of unprocessed food are continuing to increase, and families are always looking for access to fresh affordable fruits and vegetables,” said Andrea Ellens, a registered dietitian for Corewell Health. “The Veggie Van™ program and our partnership with the YMCA has played a substantial role in ensuring that free healthy produce remains available for our neighbors in need.”  

In 2023, 4,280 bags of free, locally grown, healthy fruits and vegetables were distributed, totaling: 

  • 5,640 peaches  
  • 10,135 lemons 
  • 6,840 limes 
  • 4,520 oranges 
  • 8,100 apples  
  • 3,800 zucchinis  
  • 2,600 jalapenos 
  • 3,120 ears of corn  
  • 1,711 heads of lettuce  
“Through the collaboration between Corewell Health and our YMCA Veggie Van™, we continue to bridge the gaps that are identified in food deserts within all communities, both urban and rural, throughout Michigan,” said Belisa Melton, community collaborations director for YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. “I am so thankful to have been a part of it from the beginning until now.”  

The Veggie Van™ offers access to free produce and nutrition information in rural and urban neighborhood locations such as parks, churches, and hospitals. Corewell Health team members, YMCA staff and other community organizations volunteer to distribute the bags on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested in learning more, please visit www.grymca.org/veggie-van/, email activate@grymca.org, or call 616.885.5912

Continue Watching

Bigger than a Building: Newly renovated Corewell Health Lakeland Hospital Pavilion

The newly renovated Corewell Health Lakeland Hospital Pavilion in St. Joseph focuses on high-tech modernizations and exceptional patient experiences.

How can you prepare for the cost of birth?

Are you expecting? You may have a lot of financial questions. Our financial counselors are here to help, regardless of your situation.

How can you prepare for the cost of surgery?

Planning for a surgery? Stay ahead of your health care bills by connecting with a financial counselor today.

How can financial counselors help?

If you’re concerned about your medical bills or just have questions, our financial counselors are here to help.

COVID-19 vaccine and kids

Pediatrician, Anne Dudley, DO, and Berrien County Health Department Medical Director, Rex Cabaltica, MD, discuss the COVID-19 vaccine for kids.

Tiny poke. Big impact.

Learn how to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Pardon our dust: Phase II Pavilion project updates

Phase II of the Pavilion project at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center is now underway.

Why I vaccinated: Community member, Deborah Haynes

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay protected, community members are getting a tiny poke with a big impact.

Why I vaccinated: Community member, Sharon Kuhns

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay protected, community members are getting a tiny poke with a big impact.

Why I vaccinated: Mental health counselor, Jose Gonzales II

Community member and mental health counselor, Jose Gonzales II, shares his personal choice to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

© Spectrum Health Lakeland 2024
Hospital