Street Talk

Street Talk: Food for thought

Hands-on health.

July 26, 2019
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School may be out of session for most kids, but that doesn’t change what they need throughout the summer months.

Through Kellogg’s Better Days initiative, the company is working to increase access to summer feeding programs for kids in need.

Battle Creek-based Kellogg and its charitable funds are partnering with United Way Worldwide, No Kid Hungry and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to support programs that increase access to food for kids in need when school is out. These summer meal sites are a lifeline for low-income families who otherwise spend an extra $316 per month on food during the summer.

Kellogg is partnering with United Way to help provide free summer breakfasts and lunches in Battle Creek; Dallas; Detroit; Seattle; Des Moines, Iowa; Jackson, Tennessee; and Sacramento, California.

Kellogg also is a sponsor of No Kid Hungry’s Share Summer Tour that allows people to text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find free summer meal sites in their neighborhoods. People also can contact 211, a service supported by United Way, by dialing 211 or visiting 211.org to access health and human services 24/7.

To expand summer feeding programs to reach more children, the Kellogg Company Fund also supported FRAC’s Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation report that measured the reach of summer nutrition programs.

“What child doesn’t love summer? The many children that depend on school meals who truly have no idea what or where their next meal will be,” said Laura Montague, food service director, Lakeview/Pennfield Schools in Battle Creek.

Around the world, more than 820 million people face a future of food insecurity brought on by the growing population, climate vulnerability and malnutrition. Through Kellogg’s Better Days global cause platform, the company is helping to end hunger by addressing the interconnected issues of food security, climate resiliency and well-being for people, communities and the planet.

In the past two years, Kellogg has donated 1.1 billion servings of food and reached more than 1.1 million children with nutrition education and feeding programs. Kellogg’s Better Days commitment also includes supporting farmers, encouraging employees to volunteer and engaging people in its journey to address food security.

“Our Deploy for Growth business strategy and fulfilling our purpose of nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive are intrinsically linked,” said Kris Bahner, senior vice president, global corporate affairs. “We know we can’t achieve our commitments alone. Partnerships like those with United Way, No Kid Hungry and FRAC are critical to delivering on our Kellogg’s Better Days goal to feed people in need.”

Leaving for the lake

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is taking a new approach in attracting people to the Muskegon lakeshore area.

The chamber has partnered with Livability.com to promote the community through a magazine, a digital magazine and an online presence.

The content shares information about Muskegon’s attractions, restaurants, and amenities to encourage investments, talent recruitment and relocation to the lakeshore communities.

Twenty-eight local organizations helped sponsor this project, including municipalities, employers and real estate professionals.

“Having a national presence online is a critical component for talent attraction these days,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the chamber. “We were thrilled to see these many players come together to promote our community.”

The digital publication can be accessed at livability.com/muskegon-lakeshore.

The print magazine is free to chamber members and is available at the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and throughout Muskegon County at restaurants, hotels, shops and other locations.

International fare

Hope College’s dining services has won a national grand prize for its international cuisine offerings.

Hope College won the residential dining concepts category in the National Association of College and University Food Services’ 2019 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards. There were awards presented in six categories.

After winning the category among other “medium-sized” programs, Hope College competed for the grand prize with other top programs of varying sizes.

The award is for the GLOBE station in the Phelps Hall Dining Hall, which features cuisine from multiple cultures from around the world during the school year.

Phelps Dining Hall, which is the college’s primary dining space, is an all-you-care-to-eat facility, open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Attendance peaks during lunch with an average count of more than 1,200 visitors.

The GLOBE station generally features food from at least five nations or regions on its menu, including Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean and African.

And don’t expect to find frozen pizza and spaghetti as part of the fare.

“We seek to offer a complete menu that incorporates as many nationalities as possible,” said Dan Zehr, director of dining services at Hope.

“We really strive for authenticity in our menu offerings — to provide what our international student population from those communities would expect to see at home and to enable other students to experience cuisine that they may not have had an opportunity to try before.”

Scrub a dub

Grand Rapids Community College is hosting an event to introduce young women to the world of careers in health care.

GRCC is teaming up with Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore for a Scrubs Camp for girls in seventh through ninth grades from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. July 29-Aug. 1 at Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC, 622 Godfrey Ave. SW. This is the second week of Scrubs Camp this summer, exposing students to health care career options. This project is a part of a grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

The Girl Scouts will learn about career opportunities in medical assisting, radiology and ultrasound, respiratory therapy, ophthalmology, audiology, emergency medicine, training and fitness, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, behavior and addiction counseling, and sterile processing, among others.

All of those jobs are in high demand for skilled West Michigan workers in the current workforce climate.

“The health care field covers so many disciplines and so many skills,” said Lannie Collard, who runs health and wellness programs with GRCC Workforce Training. “The camp participants will meet and engage with people in the West Michigan health care field and get to work in the GRCC simulation labs.”

“The Scrubs Camp for girls is building career-connected learning experiences within the health care field,” said Barbara Hill, CEO of Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore. “This will be an amazing program where girls will work collaboratively with both professional mentors and their peers.”

West Michigan health employers are playing a key role in this effort. As part of the camp, the Girl Scouts also will tour local care facilities, receive mentoring from health care professionals and work with career coaches. Representatives from Spectrum Health, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Holland Home are working with GRCC to provide instruction.

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