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My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants | Community Spirit

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My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants
My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A leafy green initiative to improve the lives of Grand Rapids families is leading to a plant free-for-all this weekend.

On Saturday, July 26, Our Kitchen Table will be giving away a variety of vegetable plants to those who rely on the United Church Outreach Ministry and the Asian West Michigan Association for support.  Kale, collars, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, chard, lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts will all be available on a first come, first serve basis. The plant pick-up will take place at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Food growing coach Camilla Voelker says with the help of Blandford Farm greenhouse, Our Kitchen Table grows thousands of plants every spring.  Those plants are then distributed to the organization’s gardeners, Grand Rapids Public School food gardens, a preschool garden, the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center food garden, the Kent County WIC food garden and other community gardens.

Our Kitchen Table also provides compost, soil testing, gardening and cooking classes for free, thanks to a grant from the WK Kellogg Foundation.  The organization primarily targets the Garfield Park, Eastown, Baxter and SECA neighborhoods because of their high levels of lead poisoning, asthma and residents at high risk for diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.  Voelker says research shows a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables helps improve health. 

For more information about Our Kitchen Table, visit the nonprofit’s website here.