Nutrition & Food Assistance Resources
Ottawa Food is a collaboration of many local agencies and individuals that exists to ensure all Ottawa County residents have access to healthy, local, and affordable food choices. The vision of Ottawa Food is an available supply of well-balanced meals for all.
Ottawa Food consists of members from a variety of backgrounds, including local public health, United Way, food pantries, human service organizations, food security advocates, MSU Extension, Feeding America West Michigan, farmers, and many others.
Ottawa Food developed a strategic plan for 2022-2024 which consists of 3 priority areas:
- Eliminate Hunger in Ottawa County
- Healthy Eating by All
- Increase Sourcing of Local Food
Ottawa Food is powered by community members. If you are interested in getting involved in this great work, please consider joining Ottawa Food’s Eliminate Hunger Subcommittee and/or the Healthy Eating Subcommittee. Contact Sierra at email@example.com for further details. Each subcommittee meets monthly, and the entire group meets quarterly. In addition, the Ottawa Food Advisory Board meets quarterly. For more information visit www.OttawaFood.org or email the Coordinator, Sierra Schuetz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Farmers Markets
Accept Bridge Cards & Double Up Food Bucks
Bridge card holders can now make purchases at many farmers markets in Ottawa County (including Grand Haven, Holland, and Spring Lake), and have their spending matched with Double Up Food Bucks! When you use your Bridge Card at a participating farmers market, the Double Up Food Bucks program will match your dollar for dollar with bonus funds (up to $20/day) that you can use at the market to buy more fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables.
It's that simple - spend up to $20 on your Bridge Card at the market, and you'll get up to $20 more; free to spend on healthy, local foods. Visit www.doubleupfoodbucks.org for more information or click here to learn how to use your bridge card at the farmers market.
To search for a farmers market near you, visit www.westmichiganfarmmarkets.org. Visit www.ottawafood.org to find more food resources.
Not sure if you qualify for a Bridge Card? Visit www.michigan.gov/mibridges to determine if you are eligible and to apply for benefits.
Meet Up and Eat Up
The Summer Food Service program, called Meet Up and Eat Up, was created to provide anyone 18 years of age and younger free nutritious meals during long school vacations when they do not have access to the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs. The program is available at locations throughout Ottawa County; serving breakfast, lunch and/or snacks during the summer months.
Visit OttawaFood.org during the summer for information on Meet Up and Eat Up sites, dates and times.
Ottawa Food wants to help you realize your idea of a healthy lifestyle! Consider checking out the resources below to incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine.
- Real Food Can is an online resource that shows how convenient, affordable, local, delicious, and safe real food can be. Check out Real Food Can’s cooking videos, recipes, tips, and local resources to help you connect with what you need to purchase and prepare to enjoy real food!
- Ottawa Food - Find Ottawa County food resources, healthy recipes, local food information and much more.
- Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program - Learn more about nutrition, meal planning, and eating healthy on a budget Nutrition Basics
- My Plate - Offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan/ assess your food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- My Plate Kids Place - Kids will find games, videos, songs, activity sheets, recipes and tips to help them eat more healthfully and move more. Parents and teachers will find new ways to help kids make healthier food and physical activity choices.
- Mayo Clinic - Healthy Lifestyles - Offers hundreds of healthy recipes.
- Michigan Fresh - Check out the latest Michigan Fresh fact sheets and recipes!
- We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition) - A national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.
- Health and Wellness in College
- Healthy Kids Healthy Future - Giving early care and education providers the tools to help children get a healthy start.
- Action for Healthy Kids - A nationwide initiative dedicated to improving the health and educational performance of children through better nutrition and physical activity in schools.