GRCC partners with farm organization to provide produce to students

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Plainsong Farm has provided about 400 pounds of produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, kale and other items grown on Plainsong’s 12 Mile Road fields. Courtesy Plainsong Farm

Plainsong Farm, a nonprofit organization in Rockford, is the latest to partner with Grand Rapids Community College’s Office of Student Life to provide produce to students who need food during this pandemic.

“As a nonprofit educational farm, it made so much sense for us to partner with GRCC,” said Nurya Parish, the farm’s founding executive director. “We’re here to serve our community with good food and learning opportunities. We’re excited to be making a difference together.”

The organization has provided about 400 pounds of produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, kale and other items grown on Plainsong’s 12 Mile Road fields.

In addition to Plainsong, GRCC has partnered with GRCC Student Alliance, Heart of West Michigan United Way, Feeding America West Michigan and GRCC employees.

Since March, GRCC’s Office of Student Life has been able to provide curbside food distribution. The community college has distributed more than 1,100 bags of nonperishable food, along with frozen meats, fruit, eggs, household cleaning and hygiene supplies, baby food, formula, diapers and wipes, and pet food.

“West Michigan is a caring community, and we are delighted to have a partner like Plainsong Farm step up and make a difference for our students,” said Lina Blair, director of GRCC’s Office of Student Life and Conduct. “Students and their families are struggling. Many have been excited to choose from a wide variety of healthy, farm-fresh produce to bring home.”

According to GRCC, more than 70% of its students attend part time and are scheduling classes around work and home responsibilities. With many area employers limiting hours or closing their doors in response to the crisis, more students face food and housing insecurity.

The next distribution is planned for 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday outside GRCC’s Student Community Center, 122 Lyon St. NE.

For more information, visit grcc.edu/gethelp.

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