COMMUNITIES OF OPPORTUNITY: CATEGORIES OF IMPACT
Every day, millions of children and adults in the United States do not get the food they need to thrive. There are strong links between poor school performance and poor nutrition. Facilitating ways to increase food availability is crucial to building a healthy and thriving community.
Our properties are sometimes located in poorly resourced neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food sources. Some of our properties have food stores more than five miles away, and only accessible through taxis or mass transit. Residents on fixed incomes strain their food budget when they pay to travel to obtain groceries.
We aim to connect our communities to healthy food-related services through food banks and local food pantries, mobile grocery visits to our properties with low cost healthy foods, as well as helping to arrange free transportation to larger stores. By connecting our communities with food related services, we are greatly improving the quality of lives for people living on very tight budgets.
Detroit Senior Buildings
In 2017-18, The Food Bank of Michigan was sought out as a partner to provide a mobile grocery delivery service to one Detroit property. Village Center, located near Ford Hospital was the pilot site to test whether seniors and/or families would utilize a weekly mobile food service. Food bank provides low cost nutritious food and incentivizes the purchase of healthy fruits and vegetables with their “Healthy Bucks” program. The service was very well received by residents at the pilot site, and the Food Bank reports an increase in our residents’ purchase of fresh products over the past nine months. Based on the success of the pilot site, Food Bank agreed to provide mobile grocery to two more properties in Detroit in 2018; Cambridge Towers, and Bowin Place. Our Plymouth Square site will be the final Detroit property to receive this service commencing in January 2019. The Michigan Food Bank is growing in its operational size and expanding its geographical reach.
Many of our Detroit properties have local food pantries that are utilized by our residents, and we have identified another free resource, Focus Hope, that delivers a month’s supply of free nutritious food to very low-income seniors, age 62 and older.
40 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they are often forced to skip meals, eat less, buy cheap, non-nutritious food and/or feed their children but not themselves.