Our Host Organization
Michigan State University Extension’s Community Food Systems Work Group is a statewide network of educators who are trusted resources in their communities engaging in the promotion of sustainable food systems through applied research and outreach programming that improves the access and availability of locally produced food.
In these capacities, the CFS educators links the local food movement to the statewide good food (healthy, green, fair, affordable) initiatives – the Michigan Good Food Charter, and are strategically positioned to connect statewide resources to the local efforts. They envision a thriving economy, equity and sustainability for all of Michigan and its people through a food system rooted in local communities and centered on good food – food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable.
Why Serve In Michigan?
Michigan, known for its mitten shape, auto industry, and tart cherries, is a place of great need as well as great promise. One in ten people in Michigan use emergency food programs. Over 57% of public school students receive free or reduced lunches. Poverty and food insecurity have led to high rates of diet related disease throughout the state, but there is a lot of hope for economic development in our local food systems.
Michigan’s second largest industry is agriculture, which puts us amongst the top producers of asparagus, blueberries, cherries, and dry beans in the country. We are the 2nd most diverse agricultural producer in the nation and have access to 20% of the earth’s fresh water. Initiatives like the Michigan Good Food Charter exemplify the energy and interest the state holds in making food a source of revitalization and development throughout the state.
FoodCorps service members have the opportunity to serve in a wide range of types of service sites. Michigan’s FoodCorps members are getting their hands dirty from inner city Detroit all the way north to rural Suttons Bay.