Healthy Montcalm – Increasing Food Equity, Access and Jobs through FOOD HUB development!

Listen to Marcus Cheatham, Health Officer, Mid-Michigan District Health Department talk about this food hub undertaking and invite you to a 2019 food summit!

A truly “transcendent” example of collective impact, Healthy Montcalm, is a fall ’18/winter ’19 project determining what it would take to build a FOOD HUB within Montcalm County. Led by the Mid-Michigan District Health Department and facilitated by One-Community Consulting, a group of health-oriented agencies from school and hospital institutions, colleges, associations, nonprofits and businesses have come together to address chronic health issues within the county (like obesity and heart disease) with an out of the box idea. A Food Hub is a business or nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to the aggregation, distribution and marketing of locally grown and produced products. In this project, One-Community Consulting has conducted a feasibility study and business model for such an operation that utilizes the true abundance of Montcalm County (one of the top vegetable producers in the state) and harnessing it for public health, jobs creation and local dollar circulation. We are truly excited and can’t wait to share more in the coming months.

In January of 2019 we’ll host a “Meet the Buyer” event as an economic speed dating opportunity for purchasers – such as hospitals, schools and restaurants – to take advantage of what local farms have to offer at the Four Seasons Marketplace in Edmore, Michigan. Traditional road blocks to this have often contained procurement challenges, food safety and marketing barriers. What if we could solve this and build our own regional food system? Well, we believe we can while positively influence a culture of health, education and opportunity. Stay tuned as we build a March 2019 Food Summit discussing these challenges with state and national experts to pave the way. Above, Marcus Cheatham, Health Officer leading Healthy Montcalm, discusses this unique opportunity.