The Revive and Thrive Community Project sprouted in Grand Rapids, Michigan and was hosted the first few years at Park Congregational Church. In 2018, we began preparing our meals in the 6th floor kitchen and gathering space of the Ferguson Apartment Building | Dwelling Place Properties. We are modeled after the Ceres Community Project in Sebastopol, California of whom we are an Affiliate Partner.
We meet on Wednesday to prepare our beautiful, delicious and nutritious meals. Volunteers work with the Teen Chefs (also volunteers) to prepare the meals. Volunteer Delivery Angels deliver the meals to our clients who need nutritional support during the treatment and recovery process. Volunteer Client Liasions support our clients through the entire meal process.
We 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.
We have an urban raised-bed garden on the large patio off our gathering space. This garden is ideal for growing organic fresh herbs for our meals.
Good food, prepared with care and delivered with love, can make the difference between barely surviving, and actually thriving, when faced with a life-threatening illness. With a diagnosis like cancer, patients can find it a serious struggle to meet the most basic day to day needs. At a time when every bite really matters, treatments, tests, appointments, and side effects, put at risk one of the most important elements of recovery…the availability of nourishing food. And it isn’t just patients that are at risk. Families, loved ones and caregivers are affected too!
We also know that sharing food is a universal way of expressing care for others. And it nurtures both the giver and receiver. So we have launched the Revive and Thrive Project for community to come together and provide healing meals for people who need them.
“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.” -Cathryn Couch, Executive Director, Ceres Community Project.
The 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/low cost 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.