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My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A leafy green initiative to improve the lives of Grand Rapids families is leading to a plant free-for-all this weekend.

On Saturday, July 26, Our Kitchen Table will be giving away a variety of vegetable plants to those who rely on the United Church Outreach Ministry and the Asian West Michigan Association for support.  Kale, collars, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, chard, lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts will all be available on a first come, first serve basis. The plant pick-up will take place at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of children will get the chance to experience the fun of fishing, thanks to mini-grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

MDNR’s fisheries division raised $3,482 through a silent auction for Mentor Michigan.  The funding will go to five organizations statewide to allow children and their mentors enjoy a fishing outing. 

“Every youth should have the opportunity to experience fishing,” said Mentor Michigan Director Amber Troupe. “Unfortunately, there are many obstacles to this fun activity, such as a lack of equipment, transportation or knowledge of the sport.  We are thankful to [the MDNR's] Fisheries Division for providing this generous donation so mentoring programs around the state will be able to introduce fishing and fishing skills to their matches.”

Cooking with Kal: Lemon Dream Bars (always a favorite)

Cooking with Kal: Lemon Dream Bars (always a favorite)

I got this recipe from Suzie Pomper, after her husband David  brought them into work one day. Believe me, they are delicious bars.

I made them this past week for my son Eric’s birthday but I doubled the recipe to make a half sheet pan of them to share at his work. The only thing I would do differently if I made this size again is to triple the filling only. It would make the bars a little thicker. Instead, I put a Cool Whip flower on each of the bars, to make up for them not having as much filling. Sometimes you just have to improvise.

Lemon dream bars

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 T. lemon juice

Frosting:

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

OPINION: What happened to common sense?

OPINION: What happened to common sense?

Most days I get to see a portion of ABC's Good Morning America and most days I end up shaking my head at some of the common sense subjects that are discussed. Believe me, it’s not just on this program, but most talk shows anymore.

Today they were discussing how many calories are in certain healthy foods and how some of the numbers can be surprising; but when I was growing up or our children were growing up, choices like dried fruit versus fresh fruit was not discussed because we only had fresh or home canned fruit, to my knowledge.