College Provides Students with Food for Thanksgiving Dinner

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Thanks to partnerships with local farmers and a grant from the Marvin and Rosalie Okun Foundation, Kalamazoo Valley Community College students will once again have the opportunity to pick up food to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner Monday, Nov. 22 at the college’s Food Innovation Center or Tuesday Nov. 23 at the Texas Township Campus through the school’s Valley Food Share program.

“With their help, we can support student success by removing barriers, like food insecurity, that interfere with their ability to persist to goal completion and eventually graduation,” said College President L. Marshall Washington, Ph.D.

Thanks to partnerships with local farmers and a grant from the Marvin and Rosalie Okun Foundation, Kalamazoo Valley Community College students will once again have the opportunity to pick up food to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner Monday, Nov. 22 at the college’s Food Innovation Center or Tuesday Nov. 23 at the Texas Township Campus through the school’s Valley Food Share program.

The box or “share” includes all of the ingredients for a family-sized, Thanksgiving-style meal. Students will receive a chicken, potatoes, apples, stuffing, parsnips, squash, celery, carrots, onions, rolls, butter and more. Holiday recipes, including a family favorite from college President L. Marshall Washington, Ph.D., is included.

Valley Food Share, a program launched in March 2019, is designed to meet the immediate hunger needs of currently enrolled Kalamazoo Valley students. The shares, which are distributed weekly at the college’s different campuses, include produce grown on site or sourced through the ValleyHUB Food Hub and Farm at the college’s Food Innovation Center as well as nonperishable items acquired through a partnership with Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes.
To reflect the college’s belief in the transformative power of education to improve the health and well-being of the community, a recipe card with healthy, go-to meal ideas, based on the food in the share, is also included.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Valley Food Share has been a drive-thru service.
The special Thanksgiving Food Share will be distributed curbside between 2 - 4 p.m. at the Food Innovation Center Nov. 23 and at the Texas Township Campus Nov. 24. Students were required to RSVP and select a pickup time in order to receive one of the 100 shares available. The Food Innovation Center is located at 224 E. Crosstown Parkway in downtown Kalamazoo. The address of the Texas Township Campus is 6767 W. O. Avenue in Kalamazoo.

“We are very thankful to our community partners and the generous donation from the Okun Foundation which has enabled us to provide a special Thanksgiving meal for our students,” Washington said. “With their help, we can support student success by removing barriers, like food insecurity, that interfere with their ability to persist to goal completion and eventually graduation.”

For more information, visit http://www.kvcc.edu/foodshare or email foodshare@kvcc.edu.

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