Not having access to a nearby grocery store that sells fresh produce is a challenge that a lot of Flint residents face. In fact, according to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, “Many residents are living in neighborhoods without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. They live in food deserts.”
Laura Darch, a parent whose son attends YouthQuest program at Eisenhower Elementary, knows firsthand the struggle.
“We live next to a Dollar General where we get a lot of our grocery items,” says Darch. “If we need produce, we have to go all the way across town to the Aldi.
Having to travel farther to get produce with three kids was sometimes a battle Darch states. However, YouthQuest stepped in for Darch’s family and many other families whose children currently attend the afterschool program’s virtual offering.
“After seeing the need families had for fresh produce, we allocated a budget and began working with Flint Fresh,” says Nefertari Jones, program director at YouthQuest. “It is important for us to support our students and families even outside of programming and working with Flint Fresh has allowed us to do that.”
Flint Fresh is a local organization whose mission is to support an equitable and sustainable food system that assures residents access to good food in Genesee County. One of the ways they accomplish this is with their Veggie Box Program that delivers food straight to residents’ doors.
With the help of Flint Fresh, YouthQuest was able to provide these boxes to its families in February. The box, which contains produce, eggs and milk, will be delivered to the families over the next couple of months.
“It was great to get a box of fresh veggies,” says Darch. “We have a family of five and we made sure to put all the veggies to use!”
By April, YouthQuest will have provided three food deliveries through Flint Fresh to more than 120 families in the Flint-area.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.