I want to personally welcome all of you to Operation Frontline: Detroit's newest endeavor - a "mixed-use" blog that will be a resource to both volunteers and participants of Operation Frontline, as well as those interested in food security in Southeastern Michigan. This blog is meant to be collaborative amongst anyone who would like to contribute, particularly those who are impacted by OFL.
So what is Operation Frontline?
Operation Frontline is a program offered through Share Our Strength, a national organization based in Washington, DC that works to combat childhood hunger. In order to serve the community better, Operation Frontline is hosted at local nonprofits across the country. In Southeastern Michigan, OFL is hosted by Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit, which has a long history of fighting hunger in the Metro area. OFL approaches food security in a way that goes beyond emergency food assistance – it provides nutrition education and cooking classes for low-income folks (most eligible for SNAP, or food stamps), focusing on introducing more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into participants’ diets. Just as important, the classes also teach how to cook and eat healthily on a budget, often highlighting what foods are less expensive and more nutritious.
Classes are facilitated by a team comprised of a professional chef and a nutritionist, who volunteer their time and skills. Volunteers find that they really do make a positive impact on the participants’ lives, particularly when both come to the table eager to learn.
What will this blog talk about?
Because food security is such a dire issue in the city of Detroit, particularly during this economic downturn, we wanted to share our knowledge, stories, and aspirations. Every week, you should expect:
The Participant Perspective: Not only will we frequently update the blog with class anecdotes, we’ll also upload photos and videos so that you can better get a sense of what classes are like. We also hope to get the participants involved in posting their own thoughts and experiences.
The Volunteer Perspective: Volunteers are encouraged to post their experiences with the program, providing lessons learned and tips for other volunteers.
Recipes: Once a month, we’ll post a nutritious recipe that costs under $1.40 a serving, showing that it is possible to cook healthily on a budget!
Food Budgeting Tips: Along with the recipes, we will also provide tips for purchasing foods that are both nutritious and inexpensive.
The Larger Perspective: As related issues arise on the city, state, or national level, we will post newspaper articles or links to other websites in order to provide the bigger picture. Hunger is a complex problem in the United States, and we’ll have periodic features on how other organizations are coping with it.