Founded in 2016, the company introduced with the Flint Fresh Mobile Market, a bus driving to numerous communities offering fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2019, the company produced two more initiatives: the Vegetable Box program, a veggie delivery program, and the Wholesale and Processing Kitchen, a kitchen preparing meals for schools and elderly people in need.
The three programs source a number of their items from regional and local farms. They likewise accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and Double Up Food Bucks, a state-wide program in Michigan doubling the value of SNAP benefits to help individuals acquire more fruits and vegetables.
“Consumers are enjoyed receive fresh food products,” Brian Schorr, the Executive Director of Flint Fresh informs Food Tank. “They are all the best grateful to receive fresh fruits and vegetables and we are more than happy to [assistance]”
Dr. Laura Schmitt Olabisi, an associate professor at Michigan State University (MSU) informs Food Tank that “Flint is an extremely resilient city with a high degree of neighborhood advocacy and philanthropic participation.” But she says much of the community activism emerges in response to a lack of financial investment in Flint.
In 2014, the local government of Flint changed the city's water supply to the Flint River in an effort to conserve cash, according to the City Council conference minutes. This switch caused a spike in lead levels, which caused an boost in miscarriages, fetal deaths, and neurological and behavioral problems in children.
A recent report from the Worcester Food Policy Council found that consuming a healthy diet can help reduce the damage caused by lead. However, according to Bob Brown, a neighborhood activist in Flint, the city is sustaining a food apartheid, which makes it difficult for individuals to gain access to healthy foods– nevertheless, Flint Fresh is aiming to change this.
While the company suspended the Mobile Market program during COVID-19, Schorr tells Food Tank that the other programs are “doing exceptionally well.”
In addition to retail sales, Flint Fresh provided over 10,000 totally free Veggie Boxes and bags containing milk, eggs, and meat to individuals in requirement. The wholesale processing kitchen is likewise preparing and providing meals to senior citizens.
And the company is partnering with local schools, like Educare Flint, to supply kids healthy meals and inform them on the significance of consuming healthily. One employee approximates that the program has processed nearly 14,000 kilograms of fruit and vegetables for Flint schools.
While these partnerships can aid with Flint's food apartheid, Schorr eventually wants to see the city government purchase the city's food system by supporting little scale farmers and agricultural education. He also motivates customers to support their regional food system–“it will support you in return.”
Photo courtesy of Ben Libby, Unsplash
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