For the past few years, Martus Luna has been a partner with the Crim Fitness Foundation. Nutrition Program Coordinators at the Crim have been supporting Martus Luna Food Pantry participants by giving out healthy tastings, recipes to go with that tasting, and a free kitchen item, such as measuring spoons or a cutting mat. With the changes put in place since March, Program Coordinators at the Crim have still managed to supply nutrition and physical activity education packets, nutrition tip sheets, and recipes to pantry participants.
The first food giveaway emphasized the need for the pantry in the community. “December 2012 was our first giveaway, and after that, we found out we had over 350 families on that giveaway, so we started doing that in 2013 regularly. Presently we are the COVID-19 Federal Relief for Genesee County. Since April, we’ve been averaging about 350 families per week.” Explains Art Luna, Martus Luna Food Pantry Director. Art, along with passionate volunteers have been working tirelessly for the past 8 years to meet the needs to the best of their ability.
Every Wednesday morning, volunteers at Martus Luna give out hundreds of boxes of food to Flint families. Since the pandemic began in March, Martus Luna has supplied food (including fresh produce, milk, and meat) to an average of 5,100 people or 2,000 families every month. In March, Martus Luna effectively turned their pantry contactless to be able to meet the COVID-19 restrictions set in place. As opposed to walking up and receiving their food, community members can now drive up and have food placed in their vehicle, limiting exposure to both participants and volunteers.
There is no shortage of fresh produce at Martus Luna Food Pantry. Cucumbers are one vegetable that is given out year-round. Last year, a pantry participant tried a sample of Cucumber Chickpea Salad from CrimFit Program Coordinators, and it is now one of his favorite meals. “Cucumber Chickpea Salad has become my signature dish that I bring to all get-togethers,” says the Flint resident of the Michigan Harvest of the Month Recipe. “It’s always gone as soon as it hits the table.”
Hear Art and other volunteers talk about the great things going on and see all the hard work in action. We would like to thank everyone at the Martus Luna Food Pantry for their diligence and dedication to our community since they first opened their doors 8 years ago, and especially for their increased support to the Flint community during this pandemic. Their passion for what they do has helped to feed thousands in our community.
Check out more of what the Crim Nutrition team has been up to here. You can watch videos for all ages about healthy eating, physical activity, and cooking demos made by Program Coordinators and FoodCorps Service Members.