Why and how we provide access to healthy and affordable food

North Kent Connect believes that all residents of northern Kent County have the right to access healthy and affordable good food. We are committed to developing, collaborating with, and supporting local, sustainable, just and equitable food programs that provide fresh, whole, healthy, and affordable food to our community.

What is Good Food?

The Michigan Good Food Charter defines:

  • Good Food as food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable.
  • Healthy food is food that provides nourishment and enables people to thrive.
  • Green food was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.
  • Fair means that no one along the production line was exploited during its creation.
  • Affordable means that all people have access to it.

North Kent Connect will:

  • Focus on providing good food choices in our Pantry
  • Focus on providing whole food options and locally sourced foods when possible
  • Offer educational programming that supports healthy lifestyles and that teach community members how to grow, raise and access local food
  • Continue to cultivate relationships with local farmers to sustain our food programs throughout all four seasons
  • Share our Pantry Staple List with our community as a guideline for donations
  • Promote the value in providing accessible and healthy good food options to all members of our community
  • Support fair and equitable growing practices


We believe providing good food can:

Build Connection

  • Break down the barriers in our community
  • Enhance relationships and mutual trust among each other
  • Increase shared cultural experiences, beliefs and understanding
  • Help to meet people where they are at without judgment

Build Health

  • Maintain both physical and mental health
  • Nurture body, soul and spirit
  • Reduce the risk of food-related diseases such as diabetes
  • Empower individuals to choose what food they put into their bodies
  • Build skills by learning to grow and cultivate food
  • Give individuals an opportunity to give to their families and give back to their community

If someone’s income is limited, it does not mean they want to eat junk food. Our society is built around food; it is a foundation on building relationships and a sense of belonging and family.

What is Food Sovereignty?

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

– Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007

Last updated: November 20, 2019