At MBC we’re dedicated to making a positive impact in our communities by helping individuals and families in need. We do this through our commitment to help support charities that make a huge impact in the lives of many throughout our Michigan communities. One of the ways we raise money is with Friday Casual Days. Every month MBC employees can pay $20 for the privilege of wearing blue jeans or other casual attire on Fridays.

Our spotlight charity for September is Growing Hope.

Growing Hope has provided support and nourishment to the Ypsilanti food community for over 17 years. They foster an equitable and sustainable local food system where all people are empowered to grow, sell, buy, prepare, and eat nourishing food. Ypsilanti is a community where all people- particularly those with barriers due to race, class, culture, language, ability, and mobility- have access to nourishing local food that is culturally appropriate and affordable, can grow and prepare their own harvest, and may earn a living as a food grower, producer, or entrepreneur.

Growing Hope supports all ages to grow, prepare, and eat nourishing food through hands-on educational opportunities at their urban farm and in the community. Through workshops, training, and field trips, they educate youth, adults, and seniors who have a range of gardening experience and skills. They are also active in school, community, and home gardens throughout Ypsilanti. Growing Hope manages the Saturday Depot Town Ypsilanti Farmers Market and works with The Farm at St. Joe’s and Zilke Farm Kitchen to run the Ypsi Area Online Market, which provide vibrant community spaces for local farmers and small business to sell directly to their customers. Growing Hope also is a key player in growing our local food economy, They support startup food businesses and small farmers through the Growing Hope Incubator Kitchen, capacity building trainings, and by creating connections between local growers, buyers, and consumers.