About Us

Ottawa Food is a collaboration of over 45 agencies and individuals working to ensure that all people in Ottawa County have access to healthy, local and affordable food.

Ottawa Food has two subcommittees (Healthy Eating and Hunger) that both also focus on local food. Subcommittees meet monthly and Ottawa Food meets as a large group quarterly, as does the Ottawa Food Advisory Board.

Our vision is to have an available supply of well-balanced meals for all.

Eliminate Hunger in Ottawa County

We connect people who are food insecure with food resources in the community. We advocate for policies that address food insecurity and its root causes.

Healthy Eating by All

We encourage healthy food choices and provide resources to address barriers to healthy eating. We advocate for policies that increase access to healthy food.

Increase Sourcing of Local Food

We incorporate local food into Ottawa Food initiatives whenever possible. We encourage community members to buy local food, and we advocate for policies that support local food.

Consumer Advisory Committee

Ottawa Food also has a Consumer Advisory Committee that exists to engage residents and ensure that Ottawa Food receives feedback and suggestions from community members. The Committee consists of a group of Ottawa County residents who use at least one type of food resource (Bridge Card, WIC, food pantry, Meals on Wheels, Commodities, etc.). Participants provide feedback on current and future Ottawa Food initiatives.

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Our Members

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Our Core Values

Our core values are action, collaboration, integrity, inclusion, and empathy.
Read more about how we describe each one by clicking below.
  • All members participate actively in the work of Ottawa Food.
  • We accomplish the goals we set in our strategic plan.
  • We don’t just talk; we turn discussion into viable action.
  • Through our various programs, we connect people with food resources.
  • We share resources with each other, help promote related activities, and work together on large projects like piloting new services or influencing public policy.
  • We partner with existing systems/organizations to accomplish the work of Ottawa Food rather than create duplicate efforts.
  • We work regularly with other food policy councils and coalitions from around the State of Michigan to accomplish mutual goals.
  • • We leverage funding to create a bigger impact.
  • We make data driven decisions to create our goals and use research-based and promising practices to create our strategies.
  • We acknowledge when an issue is beyond our capability, capacity, or resources to make a positive difference.
  • We measure and assess the effectiveness of our projects.
  • We are good stewards of the financial resources we are given.
  • We actively build an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued, regardless of race, ethnicity, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, accessibility needs, or country of origin.
  • We always seek input on the work that we do from the communities, individuals, and families we are trying to help, including hosting quarterly “Consumer Advisory Committee” meetings.
  • We strive to translate all of our materials for the benefit of non-English speakers.
  • We continue to educate ourselves around leading diversity, inclusion, and equity issues and practices.
  • We structure our work to be partners with those who benefit from the work of Ottawa Food vs. seeing people as recipients of the work.
  • We listen carefully to our members, community partners, and residents to inform the decisions we make.
  • We understand that the issues we’re highlighting are sensitive in nature (i.e. hunger) and as a collaborative are thoughtful in how we address them.
  • We dispel myths or misunderstandings about issues related to hunger and healthy eating.
  • We work to understand the true barriers to healthy eating for all demographics of people.
  • We learn from people’s real experiences and let that drive our work rather than act on previously-held assumptions.