Veggie Van brings fresh local produce to the NE side of town | Community Spirit
by Jonathan Stoner in LOCAL LIFE
The YMCA mobile farmers market, otherwise known as the Veggie Van, now providing access to affordable, healthy produce at Pilgrim Manor.
The YMCA Veggie Van, touted as “West Michigan's first and only mobile farmers market,” is out visiting between 15 to 18 sites in Grand Rapids every week. In May they branched out beyond the SE neighborhoods. They added their first site on the NE side, the Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community.
“This is our second newest site, so we’ve just been coming here since May,” says Sara Vander Zanden, YMCA Healthy Living Agriculture Manager, who runs the Veggie Van program. Pilgrim Manor sees the Veggie Van as a way for their residents and employees to have easier access to fresh food that is both affordable and local. According to Carol Parsaca, the Sustainability Manager at Pilgrim Manor, the feedback from the residents has been mostly positive.
“They ask me about it all the time,” says Parsaca. “A lot of our residents grew up on farms so they know they have that direct tie and they’re happy that we’re bringing that back especially to younger generations that work here.” Every Monday from 1:30 to 2:30 in the afternoon, tables stocked with fresh produce fill the lobby at the manor. When they...