Local YMCA takes to the streets to feed hungry kids

Posted at 8:15 AM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 08:15:21-04

Kiesha Arnold has fought to make sure her four kids have enough food on the table every day.

"There's been times where food's been low," says Arnold.

Arnold knows that other families in mid-Michigan struggle with the same thing. That's where the healthy living mobile kitchen comes in. It's a modified school bus that distributes food to kids who need it. The bus will work with local partners to do farmers markets at YMCA afterschool sites.

"This is very very helpful for the parents who can't make a way," explains Arnold, "The kids can always come down here all summer long to get a good healthy meal."

The bus is equipped with everything from sinks to fridges, and even a stove and oven, which will help accommodate families all across the area.

"The concept of the mobile kitchen really allows us to pack up and really use our mobility to go into the food deserts and serve the under-served areas to expand the scope and the reach of serving hungry kids," says Jeff Scheibel of the metropolitan Lansing YMCA.

One in four Michigan kids doesn't get enough food every day. The mobile kitchen wants to ensure that not only are those kids fed healthy foods, but also that families are educated on what to eat.

"Helping people understand the integration of exchanges with more fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods will be helpful," says Scheibel.

The kitchen will be used to show families how to prepare certain foods, and how to read labels properly. It also encourages activity. During stops, workers encourage play after eating, something Arnold really enjoys as a parent.

"My kids are excited to come outside at the park and be with other kids and enjoy lunch picnic style," says Arnold.

And the kids say they love it too.