Our network

Health

Irwin Seating helps to connect the dots

Irwin Seating helps to connect the dots

Earl Irwin smiles when he walks a section of the bike/walking trail west of Irwin Seating, located near Four Mile Rd NW & Fruitridge Ave NW.

Not too long ago, Irwin donated land to help with the nearly completed connection of the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, the Musketawa Trail in Ottawa County and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail in Kent County. Irwin Seating has also dedicated a parking lot on the north side of Irwin Seating as a Trail Head for people using the trails and a place to park their vehicles while on the trails.

What use to be a wood chip trail for employees to walk has now become a trail for everyone to use, according to Irwin. The former trail was built to encourage Irwin Seating employees to take advantage of a walk on their breaks, lunch hour or after work.

Through the efforts and private donations such as this, all these trails are available to the public to use and enjoy.

Orchard donates plentiful apple crop to local food pantries

Orchard donates plentiful apple crop to local food pantries

SPARTA, Mich.—Riveridge Producer Marketing, Inc. will welcome volunteers from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank this weekend to pick apples for hungry families.

The company, which represents 100 family-run apple orchards and managers 700 of its own acres, has provided apples to pantries statewide since 1998; however this will be the first year Feeding American West Michigan has gathered fruit from Riveridge’s trees directly.

“Being good neighbors is really important to Riveridge,” said company president Don Armock. “Meeting our neighbors’ hunger needs is near and dear to the hearts of Riveridge as a company.”

Agricultural leaders are expecting a historic apple crop in Michigan this year, with a 30 million bushel yield.  That’s 10 fold last year’s frost-stunted harvest.  It’s been such a good year that many growers may not be able to pick the entire crop before the frost takes over.  That’s where Feeding America West Michigan comes in.

Meijer partners with Priority Health to help as open enrollment for health insurance begins

Meijer partners with Priority Health to help as open enrollment for health insurance begins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Meijer) – Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter chain, announced today that it is partnering with Priority Health, Michigan's leading health plan, to raise awareness and help customers obtain information regarding their options as open enrollment for health insurance begins under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The Michigan-based entities have unveiled a Health Reform and You! website at http://www.meijer.com/aca and are also providing informational brochures for customers at 203 Meijer pharmacy locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Libraries host free seminars to help you navigate the Affordable Care Act

Libraries host free seminars to help you navigate the Affordable Care Act

An important piece of the Affordable Care Act takes effect October 1, when Healthcare Marketplace enrollment opens for those who do not have health insurance, purchase their own health insurance policy, or are looking for another coverage option.

Priority Health and several Kent District Library branches are teaming up to help you navigate the changes, with a special informational seminar titled, “The Affordable Care Act and You.”  People under age 65 who are responsible for purchasing health benefits for their family are invited to attend the free presentation, which will address how to enroll for coverage in the new system.

Each seminar will begin at 6:30 p.m. at select library branches. The schedule is as follows:

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Organizations in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties are teaming up this week to encourage people to take the stairs.

Take the Stairs Week runs September 3 through September 6.  The three-day campaign is meant to encourage people to become more physically active while saving energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, graphic designs promoting healthy behavior have been shown to motivate stair users; that’s why Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University created images for this campaign.  Free color signs are available at the Heart of West Michigan United Way for businesses and organizations with escalators or elevators.

Participating agencies include:

The American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapte

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces $385,000 in grants

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces $385,000 in grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Four non-profit organizations are getting $385,000 in funding to improve the neighborhoods, health, engagement and environment of Kent County.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announced the grants Tuesday.   The foundation awarded Habitat for Kent County $150,000 for its Building Blocks program, which is expected to restore or rehabilitate 36-40 properties in two years for low income families.  The funding also includes $150,000 to West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition to expand and improve trails, and a $60,000 grant to Health Intervention Services (HIS) for dental rooms, a nursing station and an improved volunteer area, which should allow HIS to double the number of patients it serves.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation also awarded $25,000 in grants to John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to create three Grand Rapids area programs to support local arts.

Whitecaps don special jerseys for cancer research July 31

Whitecaps don special jerseys for cancer research July 31

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—The Whitecaps will sport special jerseys Wednesday as they try to knock out cancer in one swing.

 The Whitecaps will host a Purple Community game against the Great Lakes Loons July 31.  A portion of each ticket sold will go to the Van Andel Institute for cancer research.  A dozen of the Whitecaps’ specialty jerseys will also be auctioned off to support VAI’s mission.

Gates to the Fifth Third Ballpark open at 6 p.m.; the game starts at 7 p.m.   The first 2,500 kids under age 12 who are inside the park will receive foam fingers.  For more ticket and event information, click here.