Detroit, MI

Summer meals for Michigan children through collaborative works of Gleaners and Community Kicks

Wayne Dover

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Detroit, MI – Gleaners collaborates with Community Kicks, gathering children around Michigan to give soccer training, nutrition education, and healthy meals.

Community Kicks is a program to introduce the basic concepts of soccer, nutrition, and life skills to under-resourced communities. It was launched in 2017 as a collaboration between Gleaners Community Food Bank, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, and AFC Ann Arbor. The program is aimed to understand food insecurity among children which involves the difficulty of transportation and location barriers. As the mentor of the program, Gleaners helps to make an innovative solution in closing the meal gap.

This year, the Community Kicks held four sites of this 'Meet Up and Eat Up' program with an addition of virtual learning options. The four sites are Detroit, Belleville, Holt, and Waterford. The club partners that will be handling the sites are Inter Detroit for Detroit site, AFC Ann Arbor for Belleville, Lansing Common FC at Holt, and Oakland County FC at Waterford.

Being part of the Gleaners’ Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Community Kicks provides nutritious meals during the summer for the children located in certain meal sites. At each meal site, Gleaners comes with a refrigerated van bringing prepared meals. Each meal has a high standard of nutrition including milk, fruits and/or vegetables, and whole-grain of protein.

Through this program, Gleaners maximized food distribution effectively. They are not only working by themselves but also collaborating with organizations like Milk Means More. Gleaners and Milk Means More have been working together for years and they share the same mission: encouraging a healthy lifestyle by giving nutrition education to participants.

For more information on the program, visit https://www.communitykicks.org/.

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