Kalamazoo Valley Community College
CREATING “MENUS THAT MATTER” AT THE HEALTH-FOCUSED CAMPUS
We live in a time when increasing numbers of Americans consume food prepared away from home. This trend — along with poor dietary choices and lack of access to healthy, sustainably sourced food — contributes to a reduced quality of life and the onset of preventable disease.
The Culinary Arts and Sustainable Food curriculum recently approved by the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Trustees reflects the belief that the best practices of urban agriculture, the latest developments in culinary and food-production research and technology, and the transformative power of education will improve the health and well-being of our citizens and help sustain our communities. The college believes that culinary and food professionals can serve as positive change agents in society. This new curriculum is scheduled to launch in fall 2015 and will be delivered in state-of-the-art facilities on a new health-focused campus in downtown Kalamazoo.
This health-focused campus, a unique partnership between Bronson Healthcare, Kalamazoo Community Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Kalamazoo Valley Community College is under construction on approximately 14 acres of land donated by Bronson Healthcare. Three facilities are planned. Kalamazoo Valley Community College will develop one for food production and distribution; a second for nursing, allied health and culinary programs; and the third will be a new psychiatric clinic for Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
The campus is close to Bronson Hospital and Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, extending the healthcare corridor toward the underserved Edison neighborhood and the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market. Anchor projects located near downtown neighborhoods bring collateral jobs and opportunities to fuel further revitalization and urban prosperity, fostering collaborative community involvement in addressing critical issues impacting underserved populations. Since announcing the new campus, at least two major commercial projects have been initiated in the area. Improving the lives of community residents will improve neighborhoods, multiplying the positive impact of urban revitalization.