Heartside Gleaning Initiative (HGI) is a non-profit organization who seeks to empower Heartside, Michigan and surrounding communities to become healthier by increasing their access to healthy foods and nutrition education (Web, HGI Mission and History). HGI combats the effects of food related illness and aims to restore healthy food security into the neighborhood through the collection and distribution of fresh produce to low-income families and individuals. All produce distributed has been donated by various local farmers in the West Michigan area.
Finding a consistent, reliable source of helping hands during the gleaning season is paramount to the success of HGI. The goal for the “Partnership Project” is to connect with another organization, Spectrum Health of West Michigan, to foster a long term, year round volunteer network for HGI. A profile for HGI was designed and will be posted on Spectrum Health’s Community Service Network. A framework of this profile will be provided in order to ensure possible replication with other community partners. Spectrum Health’s Insite web-page is a social network where the profile will be created. Due to the short time frame provided within the semester, we faced different challenges. However considerations for the future along with grant money is still in the process. Our greatest hope is that this connection created between Spectrum Health and HGI will result in many more volunteers, now and for years to come.
Carpenter, Heather; Kasbaum, Kelsey; and Navarini, Janelle, "Heartside Gleaning Initiative: A Partnership to Increase Community Volunteer Base through Spectrum Health of West Michigan" (2015). Undergraduate Research. 9.