By Cryss Walker

As grocery prices continue to rise, thousands of Southeastern Michigan families are pinching pennies to keep the pantry full.

“We take for granted what we can go to the grocery store and buy,” said Khristi English, the volunteer and community outreach manager at Focus: Hope.

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“Some people just don’t have that option or you know they’re just driving by and they know they need a little extra for dinner the next night.”

To make fresh food accessible to struggling households, Focus: hope is distributing free produce boxes to help supplement the costs at checkout.

“Some of our communities that are still food deserts, that are still not, people aren’t able to access those food items readily or easily,” English explained.

“They can’t just walk to the grocery store. It’s not a Kroger around the street from them. So this will really just help them out to just pick that box up.”

The Partnership for a Healthier America is hosting the ‘Good Food for All’ program across the country and expanding through the Covid-19 Fresh Food Fund.

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“We had apples and a bag of five-pound potatoes, acorn squash, lemons, cucumbers, and each weeks there’s going to be eight unique items that will be in the food boxes, so next week it will be totally different than it was the week prior,” English said.

Each week the boxes will be filled with 50 servings of fruits and vegetables, providing two servings of produce to each family member per day.

The program runs for 12 weeks and will benefit over 2,000 Metro-Detroit families.

“Every other week we’re giving out cook books with the program too,” English said.

“So the other facilities, the Inkster facility and the east-side facility gave out cook books and they said they got such a great response from just receiving the cook books. They come in English and Spanish, so we’re also trying to make sure we’re accommodating our multi-lingual, our bi-lingual families as well.”

Families can pick-up produce boxes at all three Focus: HOPE Food Centers on Oakman, Chalmers and in Inkster, Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

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Focus: HOPE is also looking for volunteers. Call 313-288-2059 for more information.