Veggie Van provides fresh produce to seniors through partnership with AgeWell

The YMCA Veggie Van is a mobile farmers market providing fresh fruits and vegetables, meals, and pantry staples to the senior population, particularly those who are over 60 and most at risk for severe complications with the COVID-19 virus. Specifically, the van is distributing meals to seniors at drive through sites in collaboration with AgeWell Services Muskegon County.

Meals are distributed via drive through at each of the sites to seniors in need. A proxy may pick up meals for up to three seniors unable to make it to the distribution site. The goal is to distribute 300 meals at each site. Each 'bundle' contains five meals and every vehicle may receive up to three bundles as proxy for others. Two of the meals are shelf stable and three of the meals are frozen.

Older adults are more at risk with the virus and need for social distancing is increased. The opportunity for these older adults to get out of the house and not be put at greater risk for contracting the virus by using drive-through options helps with social isolation issues as well as food shortage.  

The Veggie Van is sponsored in part through the Grand Rapids YMCA, the Muskegon YMCA, and the Muskegon County Senior Millage.

A story was recently shared: “As an observer, watching the Veggie Van team collaborate with the AgeWell team is amazing; seeing these two come together and build up each other's strengths is really incredible. Watching the volunteers and staff meld together and just make it a fun, relaxed experience for the recipient. From the fun music, and the volunteers smiling (with their eyes) and dancing around, to providing five meals to each senior which in turns gives some food security and a bright, hopeful time for the recipients as well.”