Read the Grand Rapids Business Journal article here!
Plainsong Farm & Ministry is excited to announce a new long-term partnership with New City Neighbors. Both organizations agreed to work together for the next five years. Under this new agreement, a portion of Plainsong’s property will be leased to New City Neighbors for their social enterprise farm. New City Neighbors staff will partner in Plainsong’s Nourish Your Neighbor fresh produce donation program to continue providing that service to our partner food pantries. This partnership will create opportunities for more hands-on learning experiences for Plainsong’s young adult fellows and wider volunteer community.
We celebrate this new partnership as a significant milestone for Plainsong Farm. Our organization was founded to create and provide farm-based discipleship and environmental education experiences, while also offering fresh produce to people who couldn’t afford to buy it. This new partnership will enable our program staff to focus on creating and providing our core farm-based experiences. Working with New City Neighbors also provides a path for Plainsong to donate even more fresh produce for health equity in west Michigan.
New City Neighbors is a faith-based community development organization in Grand Rapids. Their mission is to empower youth to reach their full potential with a vision of growing neighborhood leaders. One of their central programs is a social enterprise farm that provides youth employment and food access, supported by a 250 member farm share program.
The farming enterprise of New City Neighbors was previously located on the property of its partner church, but the church dissolved the partnership in 2020. In 2022, New City Neighbors was denied further access to their original 2 acre growing location and was in critical need of growing space to maintain their programming. Plainsong immediately provided New City a short-term lease to enable urgent fall planting to occur. That initial agreement has now grown into a wonderful longer-term collaboration.
Our collaboration will allow for more impact through both organizations’ healthy food access programs. Plainsong Farm currently provides fresh produce to North Kent Connect, Grand Rapids Community College’s Student Food Pantry, and the Community Food Club. New City also provides fresh produce to the Community Food Club as well as four other food access sites. In 2023, production and distribution will be consolidated under New City’s management, streamlining work and lowering costs. Volunteer recruitment, management and immersive learning will be Plainsong’s focus as we work to expand community engagement and food systems education. We believe this combination can grow great outcomes for West Michigan.
You can be part of this new collaborative effort! Become a supporting member of Plainsong Farm and help extend hospitality to New City Neighbors now and in the years to come.