“Pouches of Love”
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Pictured from left to right: Jill Petro, Board member, Friendship Center of Harbor Springs and treasurer, Woman’s Council Cheryl Tallman, owner, Fresh Baby Jennifer Sutkay, coordinator, Friendship Center of Harbor Springs Marcia-Anne Dunbar, member, Woman’s Council
Bay View Woman’s Council is partnering with the Friendship Center of Harbor Springs to bring their frequent attendees “Pouches of Love” for September through May.
The idea began with Marcia-Anne Dunbar. She saw that Jill Petro was setting up a pen-pal program with the Friendship Center of Harbor Springs (FCHS) attendees and Bay View residents, starting with the Woman’s Council members. This resulted in matching about 12 FCHS residents with pen-pals. It is ongoing.
The FCHS is housed within Hillside in Harbor Springs and is 49 subsidized senior housing units within walking distance of downtown Harbor Springs. Hillside is owned by Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, and follows their guidelines, including their COVID-19 protocol, which closed the Center, very possibly through the winter/early spring of 2021. Attendees are missing the camaraderie and activities that the FCHS offered. The Board is finding new ways to deliver music, exercise, arts and crafts, special lunches, seasonal parties etc. to this group.
The “Pouches of Love” project gained traction as Marcia-Anne proposed giving good sized zippered pouches to the Hillside residents, and 11 additional people who are alone and not venturing out.
We now have 66 pouches, with the first distribution slated for the first week of September. The plan is to fill the resident’s pouch either every month or every other month with approximately 10 items.
The FCHS coordinator, Jenn, has supplied us with a list of “wants, needs” for these 66 recipients.
They range from stamps and note cards to night lights, socks with grips on the bottom, magazine subscriptions, arts and crafts projects, CDs, and small food items like pretzels, coffee, cocoa, tea, etc.
Cheryl Tallman (Roger) of Fresh Baby of Petoskey, (a growing nutrition education products business), who contacted our group and donated 66 activity books with gel pens. Our first item for the September pouches.
Marcia-Anne has raised some money to fill part of the pouches and she is finding the first 10 items right now. The second item for the pouch is “Our Daily Bread”, Marcia-Anne has 66.
How can you help? Marcia-Anne has set up a box on the desk in the BV Post office, for notes of encouragement, pen and paper provided. We are also collecting books and magazines, puzzles etc. We have a box for that as well. Marcia-Anne and Jill will be collecting the items getting ready for our first filling of the pouches for September. Future pouch ideas: Refrigerator magnets, notes, pictures from children, new books, more CDs (we have some music lovers), calendars, more stamps, Christmas cards to send, arts and crafts projects for each month, exercise videos.
If you would like to donate items or funds, or have ideas for the pouches, please contact: Marcia-Anne Dunbar: 603.369.2446, [email protected] here now, early September-mid October, 1453 Westbrook Drive, Marysville OH 43040 or Jill Petro: 231.838.3549, [email protected] In Bay View until mid October, Petoskey October-May, 1331 Atkins Road, Petoskey MI 49770.
“Meating” the Need For Our Village, Cass City, Michigan
“Meating” the Need For Our Village was started in 2015 by a group of twelve year-old friends who realized that their local food pantries did not have enough funding to provide high-quality protein to their customers. After realizing this, they used their agriculture background to raise broiler chickens to donate to local food pantries.
To date, “Meating” the Need has had a $60,000 impact on the community through meat, milk, eggs, cheese, vegetables, butter, and nutrition education materials. Recently, Fresh Baby generously donated nutrition education materials to help “Meating” the Need educate children of food pantry clients on the importance of a balanced diet. The materials donated included bags, plates, cups, portion cards, and silverware (for younger children). The Boots and Bling 4-H club assembled the materials into the appropriate bags for distribution. All of these materials are in English, Spanish, and Bilingual so children can choose the bag of materials with the language they are most comfortable with.
“Meating” the Need is very grateful and excited about the opportunity to work with Fresh Baby and we can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Good Neighbors Food Pantry, Boyne City, Michigan
Helping others in the spirit of giving is what the holidays are all about. The Fresh Baby Team joined Good Neighbors Food Pantry to help prepare for Thanksgiving, filling donated Farm Fresh bags with a green bean casserole recipe and ingredients plus other Thanksgiving dinner menu items.
The volunteers that shop and run the pantry do some amazing work and we were proud to participate. The Good Neighbor Food Pantry serves 50-60 families a week. Learn more about The Good Neighbor Food Pantry here: https://tinyurl.com/ycefmtye
After-school Cooking Club
Supporting 3 sessions: October 2018, March 2019, October 2019 – Boyne City Middle School, Boyne City, Michigan
Every week for 8 weeks, Fresh Baby will provide one of our nutrition education products to the After-school Cooking Club at Boyne City Middle School. At the first meeting of each session, students receive our Kid’s Comic Book Aprons, which is always a hit!
The After-school Cooking Club is a collaboration between Chef Jon Kirk of Petoskey and the Rambler Wellness group, with the mission to introduce students to a homestyle kitchen, incorporating food safety, smart shopping, and nutrition instruction along the way. Every week a different course will be prepared culminating in a family-style dinner to be served to the student’s families the last night. This program is made available through the generous donation of time by Chef Jon Kirk, BCMS teachers Greta Brock and Cindy Romero, and the Rambler Wellness group under the guidance by Sue McClosky, RN. Ingredients are generously donated by Grain Train Natural Foods Market.
Char-Em ISD CA4K Chopped! Class
June 2019 – Boyne City High School, Boyne City, Michigan
School is out and it’s time for summer programs. We’re proud to support the Charlevoix-Emmet ISD CA4K (Career Academy for Kids) Chopped! class. Kids get to explore cooking and participate in chef-led activities and instructions. (Plus they get a few of our fabulous products!)
Sheridan Elementary 2nd Grade
The Sheriden Elementary 2nd Grade classroom learned about nutrition and MyPlate this winter. To complete their curriculum and support everything they learned about eating a healthy, balanced diet, each student received a Comic Backpack, Comic MyPlate and Comic Dairy Cup.
“I’m so grateful for your kindness and support in donating to kids Wish Network. The Project Toy Drop Event in Norfolk Virginia was such a great success. Your special donations brought so many smiles to so many children.”
“Kids Wish Network relies on caring donors like you to carry on our special programs… We value Fresh Baby, and greatly appreciate your continued support and being a part of our heartfelt magic.”
October 2018, Petoskey, Michigan
Supporting Local Older Adults
Fresh Baby was recently recognized for supporting the local Friendship Centers of Emmet County on National Senior Citizens Day with a monetary donation.