The YMCA of Lansing understands that hunger is a reality for many children and families in the tri-county area. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 Michigan children go to bed hungry every night.
That’s why we’re continuing to build on our community feeding programs that have been in place since 2011. In 2016, we launched the Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen. The mobile kitchen is a 54 passenger, handicap accessible bus that was donated by Kellie Dean, president of Dean Transportation. It has been retrofit with a demonstration kitchen which will serve meals to children year-round in partnership with the Lansing School District’s food vendor SodexoMAGIC and the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
The mobile kitchen will also distribute fresh foods and non-perishable items in neighborhoods throughout the tri-county area. The bus also provides education to children, providing valuable hands-on education about preparing seasonal food, reading labels, using accessible and affordable foods and even how to set up and grow food. Trained YMCA staff will oversee the Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen and its year-round programming.
The Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen Bus visits 12 stops each day, Monday-Friday, during the summer months. The Mobile Kitchen is at each site for 20 minutes providing healthy meals to kids and adults who are accompanied by a child. Prior to the Mobile Kitchen’s arrival, the Healthy Living Mobile Fitness Bus provides 30 minutes of physical activity. The fitness component is used to not only provide physical activity but it gathers the kid’s so that they are ready to eat when the mobile kitchen arrives.
This program provides fresh fruits and vegetables to after school programs in the Lansing School District, along with teaching the children financial literacy. Each child is given “Y Bucks” that they can purchase fruit and vegetables that they can take home. This program is set up like a farmers market and is a way to create access to fruits and vegetables while focusing on financial literacy.
This program provides children with a meal on the days that the Lansing School District is closed during the school year. The Mobile Kitchen visits multiple sites on these days, providing physical activity followed by a meal. It is during the Schools- Out days that kids run the risk of not eating and this program helps fill that gap.
Funding partners of the Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen include the Walmart Foundation; Dean Transportation; Lansing School District’s food vendor, SodexoMAGIC; Maloney Carpet One Floor & Home; Driven Collision and Skyline Outdoor, who provided the wrapping for the bus.
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