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A Focus On Food


Winona Bynum list

Winona Bynum

Winona Bynum, youth and nutrition programs manager at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, likens her work in the nonprofit sector to her past work in IT project management. Similar to technology projects, human service programs – like the children’s feeding programs she oversees – need stakeholder input and strong collaborations to be successful. 

Kwamena Mensa

Kwamena Mensah

Community organizer, farmer, teacher and change maker are among the hats worn by Kwamena Mensah, agriculture specialist and consultant with Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. As a pioneer in the urban agriculture movement, he has played a huge role in the reform of Detroit’s food system. 

Colleen Matts list

Colleen Matts

Colleen Matts, farm to institution specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, has seen kids become great farm to school ambassadors, taking their parents by the hand, sharing their knowhow about the value of locally grown food, and even telling parents where to purchase it. Matts sees kids leading the farm to school cause -- just as much as she is. 

Leah Kelley

Leah Kelley

With collaboration and positive social change in the driver’s seat, Leah Kelley of Allen Neighborhood Center in Lansing is motivating youth to think more about their role in creating positive shifts in community health. She leads the center’s Youth Service Corps, which engages community youth in food access projects through hands-on work and learning activities. 

Jen Rusciano

Jen Rusciano

When Jennifer Rusciano was in fourth grade, she explored the origins of her favorite chocolate bar, connecting it to cocoa farms in Ghana. Years later, a college fellowship led her to live and work in small-scale cocoa farming communities around the world, exploring the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. After that, she joined FoodCorps in Michigan for two years, and eventually helped develop Detroit Food Academy, where she currently serves as executive director of operations. 

Lisa Machesky - Photo by Doug Coombe

Lisa Machesky

As executive director of the Baldwin Center in Pontiac, Lisa Machesky sees daily the growing divide between rich and poor. She envisions a future where every child has an equal chance for success, and Baldwin Center’s enrichment and education programs for kids and basic needs assistance for families mean Pontiac children have a better footing for the future.
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Bright Ideas

gardenlist12814

Kids Nurture Detroit Gardens

The productive green space is part of the Detroit School Garden Collaborative, a partnership between the Detroit Public Schools and the Greening of Detroit. Amy Kuras eagerly looks forward to planting season in this report. 

Flint Farm Kids 1

Flint River Farms Educates City Kids About Farming

Flint River Farm grows vegetables, fruits and herbs on a Flint city block that used to house burned-out homes and vacant lots.

Bryan Laher and Shaquille Brown at the Community Kitchen

Career Education in the Kitchen

At Ann Arbor's Food Gatherers, feeding the hungry is only part of the equation. Preparing at-risk young adults for careers in the food industry is another. 

Shopping in Eastern Market

Creating Change In Michigan's Food Systems

How is Michigan doing in creating systemic change around food access, nutrition, and sustainability for low-income children and families? 

How children are fed by KFB.

Brown-Bagging an End to Hunger

From 125 meals in 2003 to today's 5,100, Kids' Food Basket has grown into one of the brightest and most recognizable nonprofits in Grand Rapids.

Dino's

Dino's: Feeding Fans And School Kids Alike

Dino's restaurant has been a beloved Ferndale fixture for over a decade. When the recession hit, owner Dean 'Dino' Bach started catering to keep his employees working and, unexpectedly, discovered a whole new business opportunity: providing healthy lunches to school kids.
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Research & Reports

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