Downtown Market Education Foundation
The purpose of the Downtown Market Education Foundation is to support educational and charitable activities at the Downtown Market including, but not limited to, culinary and nutrition education; training in entrepreneurship, food production and gardening; obesity prevention and other wellness issues and concerns. In addition, the organization supports access to, and promotion of, fresh healthy foods for all, including disadvantaged families and children.
The Grand Rapids Downtown Market Education Foundation coordinates classes and programs using the entire facility and partners with experts from all areas of the community to achieve five major objectives:
- To improve culinary skills and nutrition knowledge
- To increase understanding of growing and food production
- To decrease obesity and move toward healthy living and wellness
- To strengthen entrepreneurship in the food growing and producing community
- To expand access to healthy food for all segments of the local population
GEOGRAPHIC AREA SERVED:
Kent County with a focus on Grand Rapids communities including, but not limited to, Heartside, Roosevelt Park and the South East area neighborhoods.
STATEMENT OF NEED:
West Michigan faces an epidemic of childhood obesity. According to the CDC, the obesity rate in Kent County is greater than 28%, with one in three children as overweight or obese. Poor nutrition is a great challenge for the next generation. Children need to learn about nutrition and their families need access to affordable, healthy choices. As a nonprofit organization, the Education Foundation relies on the support from individuals, corporations and foundations to provide nutrition education programs for all, regardless of income. To date, 1,300 youth have participated in the scholarship program.
ORGANIZATION INFORMATION/ABOUT US:
The Downtown Market Education Foundation delivers exciting and educational programs to over 5,000 individuals each year. It’s a place where children and families can learn how to grow and cook nutritious meals in our greenhouse and teaching kitchen; a place where entrepreneurs can fulfill their dreams of owning a small, local business through our incubator kitchen; a place that expands access to healthy foods for all individuals by offering SNAP assistance; and a place that strives to make an impact on the growing epidemic of obesity and diet-related diseases.