Portage Health Foundation is passionate about making a difference when it comes to food in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. PHF’s Food Initiative is two-fold. First, the food initiative aims to improve access to locally grown and healthful foods within our community. Second, it provides educational resources and tools to promote sustainable changes to eating and lifestyle habits for all.
This issue has been vital to us since day 1, and it's taken many forms over the years. Below we invite you to learn about some of those efforts.
Stop the Roar of Hunger
You can’t hear it, but our community is certainly feeling it - the roar of hunger. We’re partnering with organizations like 31 Backpacks, Feeding America, Ontonagon County Backpack Program and the Western U.P. Food Bank to make sure no one in our community goes hungry.
- #StoptheRoarofHunger nearing the half-way point, via Kevin Store on LinkedIn in March 2016
- Foundation explores food insecurity, via Daily Mining Gazette in May 2016
- Help fight food insecurity in the U.P. 'Stop the Roar of Hunger', via ABC 10 in November 2016
- Grant Received to Increase Access to Food, via Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center in February 2017
- Food as Medicine: How the BCBSM Foundation Supports Produce Prescription Programs, via MI Blues Perspectives in May 2018
Back in the hay day, Michigan’s Copper Country produced food for itself with countless farms between Eagle Harbor and Bruce Crossing. We’re looking to find ways to help bring that agricultural side of our economy back, including supporting farmers’ markets throughout our region.
- PHF sponsors event at Houghton Farmers Market, via PHF in August 2019
- Fresh, Local, Dependable: Nurturing UP Food Systems, via Michigan Tech in May 2020
- Grant assists Calumet Farmers Market improvements, via PHF in June 2020
- Investments in Copper Country Farmers Markets to Aid Growth in 2021, via PHF in June 2021
The foundation created a specific request for proposals (RFP) in 2020 to increase local food production and access to fresh and healthy produce, provide opportunities for education across the lifespan, and to create shared green spaces that foster social connection among community members through community gardens.
- Nine incredible projects increasing food access in Western U.P., via PHF in July 2020
- Ryan Street Community Garden Receives Expansion Grant, via Finlandia University in June 2020
- Local collaboration receives MDARD funding to integrate gardens in educational and social service programs, via PHF in February 2020
- Community Gardens the focus of latest PHF Request for Proposals, via Daily Mining Gazette in January 2020
- Portage Health Foundation helps jump-start incredible greenhouse project, via PHF in December 2019
- Houghton Middle School Garden & Greenhouse Project, via PHF in April 2016
We’ve partnered with the Portage Lake District Library for the Biblio Bistro series. This online video series strives to show that healthy cooking doesn’t have to be boring or laborious. The goal is to make participants feel more confident and curious in the kitchen, all the while increasing fruit and veggie intake and supporting the local food system.
- Learn more at pldl.org/biblio-bistro
Collective CSA Program
In the summer of 2020 we debuted a new program called the Collective CSA Program. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is something we introduced 20 families to. Below is more on that.
Healthy, Local Recipes
In the summer of 2020 we're proud to support the local farmers markets by creating recipe cards featuring items you can find at the markets! These recipes are easy, fun, healthy and delicious. Some of them were featured during the Biblio Bistro video series, others are simply available for you to check out. If you want a print version of one of these, stop by one of our local markets!
- Asparagus and Bok Choy Frittata
- Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto
- Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
- Chicken Lettuce Wrap
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Citrusy Green Beans
- Egg Roll Bowls
- Fresh Pea Hummus
- Kohlrabi Slaw with Cilantro and Lime
- Quinoa and Fresh Herb Salad
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Radish Butter
- Red Flannel Hash
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Slow-Cooked Kale
- Slow-Cooked Summer Squash
- Slow-Cooked Winter Squash
- Warm Beet Salad
- Warm Eggplant Salad with Walnuts
- Wilted Chard
Keweenaw Grown Foods
We believe a vital factor to a healthier tomorrow involves improved access to fresh, nutritious and locally sourced foods. Better yet, the knowledge of what to do with those foods once you’ve got them. This is where the Keweenaw Grown Food series steps in. This series includes recipes and educational flyers that feature information on peak season, how to select/store, health benefits and ways to use different types of fresh, locally grown food.
- Bell Peppers
- Butternut Squash
- Green Beans
- Maple Syrup
- Swiss Chard
- Wild Rice
Support the Food Initiative
We’re passionate about making a real difference when it comes to food in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. If you are also passionate about those things, we'd love to have you join us on this journey.
Subscribe for Update
Every season we'll be putting out an email with updates on our Food Initiative. That will include project updates, volunteer opportunities, health advice, resources to grow and/or buy food locally and more.
Donate to PHF's Food Initiative
Everything we're doing for our food initiative is dependent on funding. If you believe in this mission and are able to support it, we would love to see you support it with a monetary donation. You can do that via the form below, via phone at (906) 523-5920 or by mailing a check to Portage Health Foundation; Food Initiative; 400 Quincy Street; Hancock, MI 49930.
Questions or comments?
We'd love to hear from you. You can call us at (906) 523-5920 or email email@example.com.