Revive & Thrive Project
Revive and Thrive Community Project
Nourishing the Community One Bite at a Time
Introduction & Mission
The Revive and Thrive Community Project sprouted in Grand Rapids, Michigan in August of 2013. It is modeled after the Ceres Community Project in Sebastopol, California of whom we are an Affiliate Partner. Our mission is to provide teens with growing, cooking and healthy eating skills while providing those facing life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, with nourishing healing meals. Ultimately we seek to educate the greater community about the powerful connection between food, health and local sustainable agriculture.
The Revive and Thrive project is based on the Ceres Community Project which began six years ago and has since grown tremendously. Ceres’s believes that “putting real food – whole, locally grown and organic – back in the center of our lives, and sharing it with others in times of need, leads to healthier and happier people, richer and more vibrant communities, and the potential to regenerate the earth that supports us.” The Ceres’ Healing Meals for Healthy Communities model is the foundation of both the Ceres and the Revive and Thrive Community Project and includes:
• Supporting individuals dealing with serious illness with free, delivered and nutrient-rich prepared meals, nutrition education, and a community of nurturing support.
• Involving young people as volunteer gardeners and chefs, giving them direct, hands-on training and first-hand experience to understand the relationship between food and health. And, to experience the transformative power of serving and nurturing those in need.
• Educating the broader community, including health professionals, about the connections between fresh, healthy food, strong social networks, healing and wellness.
• Providing a multi-generational and multi-cultural program to connect people of all ages and from all walks of life to one another, and to their value as an integral part of the community.
Our vision is to support individual health and the health of the community by providing valuable opportunities that will positively influence dietary and eating behaviors through experiential and nutrition education programs centered on healing foods. The foundation of health is centered on whole foods that promote health while supporting local sustainable agriculture, community partners and local businesses. Teens: Teenagers often make their own food choices yet face several barriers in achieving healthy food habits. Teens who are involved with gardening, cooking, and nutritional education, discover that healthy food can be nourishing, tasty and easy to prepare, while also learning about the powerful relationship between food and health. Research from a U. S. Department of Food & Agriculture funded evaluation study and the Ceres Community Project revealed that teens that are part of Ceres eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, increase the variety of vegetables they eat, cook more frequently, and become advocates for healthier eating among their friends and family. Additionally, the Revive and Thrive model of service elevates teens from learners to nurturing leaders; a position that provides leadership lessons and esteem building experiences that can benefit all aspects of their life. Clients: Nourishing meals during the treatment of life-threatening illnesses can make a vital difference to patients. They can easily become malnourished as a result of treatment. This in turn can increase to side effects, reduce the effectiveness of treatment, and lengthen recovery time. Those facing life threatening illnesses will receive delicious, nutrient rich meals at no charge for themselves and their family. These delivered meals provide vital nourishment when every bite counts. This significantly relieves stress from the daily responsibilities of preparing meals, educates clients and their families about healthy food choices and promotes positive eating behaviors. Recent research from the Ceres Community Project in 2013 showed the following results after involvement with the program:
• Clients increase their fruit consumption by 50% and their vegetable consumption by 61%.
• Nearly 80% of clients say they are eating less packaged/processed food and fast food.
• 100% rated it “extremely important” that the healthy food helped them recover more quickly.
• 83% rated it “extremely important” that they learned a lot about nutrition and healthy eating.
• 82% of clients stated their weight moved in a positive direction because of the meals provided.
The Revive and Thrive Community Project is committed to promoting both the health of individuals and the strengthening of community. Networking within the community will promote discussions about the relationship between food, health and our local environment. Supporting local sustainable agriculture, farmers, related local businesses and organizations through collaborative partnerships reduces our environmental impact and more efficiently utilizes public services.
Contact phone number: Wendy Borden, Executive Director 616-581-4103
We are grateful to Ceres Community Project for the inspiration and training to launch Revive & Thrive Project. To learn more about Ceres go to www.ceresproject.org."