Grattan Academy High School students Tyler Arnold, Kelly Woods, and Barbee Ryan provide snacks during an American Red Cross Blood Drive hosted by the school on Wednesday, April 1. In addition to purchased snacks and drinks, the Middle/High School Student Council members also offered donors a selection of home baked cookies.
by BETH ALTENA Before the Civil War, people either grew their own food or knew the farmer who grew it for them. Now the source of our daily meals is such a mystery children are often clueless about how their dinner came to be. Unfortunately, adults are just as unaware as where our groceries come from. According to Sue Osgood, editor of Foodforthought magazine, consumers are finding ways to get back to natural foods. Osgood was the speaker at the Thursday, April 2 meeting of the Rockford Area Historical Society, another great speaker for the club. She said her magazine has been featuring ways consumers are using to get back to natural foods, grown close by. After the Civil War, people flocked to cities to live, and sanitation and food safety regulations were in their infancy. Michigan, in 1948, was the first state to mandate that milk be pasteurized before sale. “Now food is highly industrialized,” Osgood said. With costs of food skyrocketing and incidents of food-born illness in the news constantly, consumers are ready to get closer to their edibles. One example Osgood described is a concept begun in the 1960s. Smaller farmers, who often have a hard time competing against large producers, allow consumers to purchase stock in the farm. For a price up front, fresh, in-season produce is available. “This helps the small farmer because he has the money up front when he needs it for planting,” Osgood said. This is good for farmers and consumers and “puts a face” on your food. Another example is a way around milk pasteurization laws. Those who own cows can do what they want, as long as they don’t sell it. As in the farm example, consumers can make arrangements to buy a share of a cow. As owners, they can legally drink the milk without pasteurization. “A lot of people believe in unpasteurized milk,” Osgood said. She said before the industrial revolution, it was what people drank. Some believe pasteurization kills healthful enzymes and makes the milk less nutritious. An increase in organic foods is also part of the same picture. Many people believe organic food exposes consumers to less pesticides and other toxins, is more nutritious, protects you from genetically modified food, is […]
Turns out maybe “Murphy’s Law” isn’t such a bad thing after all. After a high school industrial arts class and a new local animal and pet assistance group came together, they’re changing the way people might think about the old rule of bad luck. Rockford High School Industrial Arts teacher Ryan Whitmore needed a project. New local non-profit organization Murphy’s Pet Project needed some doghouses. And thanks to a mutual acquaintance bringing the two together, Whitmore filled his need for a building project, and Murphy’s Pet Project is about to be on the receiving end of 26 custom built windproof doghouses for donation to needy Grand Rapids area residents. Due to Rockford’s new trimester student schedule, Whitmore needed a small scale construction project for his Woods classes. “Because of various time constraints this particular trimester, we needed a project that would in some way simulate house construction with framing and angles. In the past we’ve built storage sheds, but time didn’t allow us to build the sheds.” Enter Murphy’s Pet Project. Murphy’s Pet Project is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to helping needy families meet the sometimes substantial financial burdens pet ownership can bring. According to co-founder Melissa Muir, Murphy’s can help families and their pets in a variety of ways. “Murphy’s was developed out of a combination of love for animals and the desire to help loving families keep their pets and keep them safe and healthy. Especially in an economy like this one, families are faced with difficult decisions. We didn’t want financial issues to be a factor in families deciding whether they could continue to keep a pet.” Muir also stated that Murphy’s fills a void in the area, as other advocacy groups do not offer the type of assistance Murphy’s Pet Project does. Among others, she cited costly and sometimes unaffordable surgery, medications, food, and sometimes even dog houses. “While no dog should be an ‘outdoor pet,’ if people see an outdoor dog without proper shelter, Murphy’s Pet Project will provide the dog a quality shelter, hay for further insulation, and often a bag of food as well,” she added. The group also assists families with cats and other domesticated pets in the West Michigan area. From Whitmore’s perspective, the […]
The 14th annual Community Golf Outing, presented by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce is Monday, May 4 at Blythefield Country Club. Registration is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with shotgun start at 1 p.m. Enjoy 18 holes of golf, golf cart, hole events, box lunch, strolling dinner and awards. Proceeds support several community and chamber events. Register on or before Monday, April 27 with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call the chamber at (616) 866-2000 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rockford Area Community Endowment is accepting nominations for its annual Community Recognition Award. The Community Recognition Award is given to an individual or community organization that has achieved significant accomplishment in their lifetime through career, community or personal success. Nominees must be or have been a resident of the Rockford Public School District. Desirable characteristics may include the following: Courage-exemplifies courage and determination. Initiative-demonstrates drive and initiative in his/her approach to accomplishing a goal, project, objective, etc. Achievement-has achieved something of lasting significance. Time Commitment-volunteers a significant amount of time and energy to the community, to further a cause, project or issue. Effectiveness-generates positive results from their actions. Nominations are accepted from the public at large and should be submitted in writing to: Rockford Area Community Endowment, Attention: Awards, P.O. Box 561, Rockford, MI 49341 by April 13, 2009. The written nomination shall outline, in one typed page or less, the qualities that exemplify why the candidate should be considered for the award. The Board of Directors will consider each nominee on his/her merits. The Community Recognition Award will be presented during the May meeting of the Rockford Area Community Endowment. The award will include an engraved plaque with the recipient’s name placed on a column in the Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park (Rockford Dam).