We’re a weekly YMCA Farmers Market which was launched in June, 2011, focusing on increasing access to fresh produce to the residents of urban Grand Rapids. For more information, visit our 2012 Farmers Market tab.
YMCA Veggie Van
The Veggie Van makes weekly stops at each Hub to distribute produce from local farmers at wholesale costs. Payment methods include: Bridge Cards, debit cards, cash, and Project Fresh coupons.
To see our current schedule, vist our Veggie Van tab.
Healthy Living Hubs
Support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has allowed the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids to establish four Healthy Living Hubs in Grand Rapids’ highest need neighborhoods. These Hubs serve as central locations where families living in food desert neighborhoods come to access fresh food and participate in family-centered physical activity. In addition, our Healthy Living Hubs are places where families participate in community gardening, healthy cooking classes, Zumba, soccer, Double Dutch, and other high energy, fun activities. Programs at the Hubs address the health disparities that disproportionately affect Latino and African American families living in urban Grand Rapids.
Roosevelt Park Ministries
1530 Grandville Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Baxter Community Center
935 Baxter Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506
New Hope Baptist Church
130 Delaware Street SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
SECOM (South End Community Outreach Ministries)
1545 Buchanan Avenue SW #3
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Located at the Healthy Living Hubs, these gardens are facilitated by YMCA staff and are designed to teach children and their families where vegetables come from, how they are grown, and how to prepare them. Children construct raised bed gardens, research what they want to plant, then plant, care for, harvest, and cook their crop. Family meals take place around the garden, and families are given recipes to take home. These gardens have served as a catalyst for bringing community and families together, even in gang ridden urban areas.
Latinos For A Healthy Life (Latinos por una Vida Saludable)
This health and wellness program is designed to promote lasting healthy lifestyle behaviors as a means of addressing the obesity epidemic in Grand Rapids’ Latino community. Three 16 week sessions per year provide culturally appropriate nutrition education (including hands-on food demonstrations and taste testing), physical activity, relationship building, and maintenance strategies for 240 individuals annually. This program has shown positive outcomes with regard to improvements in strength, flexibility, blood pressure, and body mass index (BMI) as well as improved knowledge and behavior change regarding healthy lifestyle choices.
YMCA Inner City Youth Baseball
The West Michigan Whitecaps and Fifth Third Bank are 15-year sponsors of the Ys Inner City Youth Baseball Program. In addition to their support, the Y received an RBI grant (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) from Major League Baseball. Twelve 11 to 12 year old inner city boys from Grand Rapids were chosen to travel to Anaheim, CA for baseball games with 12 teams from around the nation to participate in festivities around the MLB All-Star game in July 2010. This was a life changing experience for the boys involved.
Mid-City Adventure Club
This club has provided leadership training for over 1,400 low income children throughout greater Grand Rapids, ages 4 to 18, annually. Children take part in our drug and alcohol prevention, swim and water safety instruction, and kids’ literacy program, as well as attend Camp Manitou-Lin where they learn about the environment and the different elements of nature, in addition to taking part in Camp Manitou-Lin activities such as horseback riding, kayaking, and swimming. The ultimate goal of this program is to help children build positive assets and create high expectations for education and for life.