about us

The Community Food Club is a non-profit, member based grocery store.

our mission

The Community Food Club is an innovative and dignified approach to food security rooted in consumer choice, member participation, and access to healthy foods.

our commitment

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our mission and our impact. The Community Food Club exists to provide a culturally appropriate, dignified shopping experience for all Kent County residents faced with food access challenges. We recognize that we have much to learn and know that it takes a multitude of perspectives to ensure our mission is achieved.

We honor the characteristics, traits, and experiences that make each person unique and are committed to creating environments that make all people feel welcomed, supported, valued and meaningfully engaged.

our values

Community

Building and encouraging strong relationships in a friendly and safe environment

Dignity

Demonstrating and promoting mutual respect and appreciation

Consumer Participation

Encouraging ownership and buy-in by way of membership fees and program input

Member-Centered

Ensuring a quality shopping experience, increased choice, and active participation for all members

health

Providing accessible and affordable selection of healthy foods and nutrition education opportunities

Collaboration

Members, donors, and other sectors investing to ensure effective program and financial stability

Evaluation

Making informed decisions based on research and data

Equity

Creating an inclusive, diverse, and just organization that works to reduce disparities

our story

The Community Food Club Model

Opening its doors in January of 2015, the Community Food Club was the vision of seven partner agencies desiring to try a new model. A model that incorporated consumer choice and had access to healthy foods.

Walk through the doors of the Community Food Club and you will find a grocery store stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, meat and dry goods. Members complete their shopping trip at the checkout lane and receive a receipt that shows the order total and the remaining point balance.

Member households pay $11-$15 for a 30 day membership and are given an allotment of points based on their household size. Point values are assigned to each food item at the Community Food Club and members select the foods that best meet their families needs. Members may shop as often as they wish, up to once per day, until all of their points are used. Dignity and choice are the hallmarks of the Community Food Club model.

What differentiates the Community Food Club from a traditional grocery store? The price! Fruits and vegetables are the lowest priced items in the store while processed foods and snacks are the among the highest. This model helps increase food security in general; providing our members access to fresh produce and other healthy foods.

who we are

AJ Fossel

Executive Director

 

ajfossel@communityfoodclubgr.org

AJ has spent her career working in the charitable food sector. In her role as Executive Director, AJ is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, resource development, and the strategic plan of the Food Club. She has a passion for food justice and fostering leadership among all people who interact with the Food Club. Although a “newbie” in her diversity, equity, and inclusion journey, AJ knows the best work happens when everyone has a place at the table and works hard to make sure the Food Club is a welcoming place for all. 

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: Uvas! (Grapes) 

OSCAR UBILLUS-FERNANDEZ

Grocery Coordinator

 

oscar.ubillus@communityfoodclubgr.org

I started working at the Food Club four years ago and I have grown so much here. I enjoy buying and looking for new products for the Food Club. I really like to make friends and treat all people with respect and I think that’s why people remember my name and face on the street. When I am not at work I love spending time in my workshop working on new projects, accompanied by my cat, Kevin.

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: La lucuma

AMBER Colter

Logistics Coordinator

amber.colter@communityfoodclubgr.org

I work at the food club because I started out as a volunteer and loved the atmosphere and work so much that I accepted the job offer I was given shortly after. I enjoy it because I love to serve others and it reminds me everyday how grateful I should be for all the blessings I have. Service is a huge part of my recovery! Outside of work, I play a lot with my 5-yr. old son, participate in young people’s AA & the recovery community of GR, playing music, church activities, goofing around with my husband & cookouts with friends. 
 

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: Asparagus

Sydney Watson

Communications & Development Coordinator

sydney.watson@communityfoodclubgr.org

Working at the Food Club has been an incredible growing experience. Getting to know the members at the Food Club has allowed me to get more familiar with the community I work and live in. Being a part of such an innovative and forward thinking model inspires me on a daily basis and work doesn’t feel so much like work! Outside of the Food Club, I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends, reading, or binge watching a Netflix series. 

 

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: A perfectly roasted brussels sprout!

Heather Milks

Member Engagement and Special Projects Coordinator

heather.milks@communityfoodclubgr.org

I enjoy working at the Food Club because I learn something new every day! Whether it’s meeting new members, working with community partners, learning new Spanish words, or just working on a new project, the Food Club is constantly growing and I love getting to be a part of it. When I’m not working, you can find me picking up new hobbies! Most recently I took a ceramics class and I’m hoping to get into sewing!
 

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: A just-right peach

Raúl Antonio Ortiz

Volunteer Coordinator

raul.ortiz@communityfoodclubgr.org

I love working at the Food Club because I get to be introduced to the members of the community I wouldn’t have been able to meet otherwise. Getting to talk to people and listen to their stories, we see how connected we really are to food. It is a part of our culture, our growth, and how we connect with people. I have had the opportunity to introduce members to foods they may not have been familiar with before. For example, huitlacoche is a fungus that grows atop of corn and is a delicacy that dates back to the Mexica people of Tenochtitlan. Members may not have ever heard of this before and I’m able to explain usages! Recently, the Food Club stocked dragon fruit, a semi sweet tropical fruit native to the Americas. I was able to teach members that these are great in smoothies, frozen desserts, or taste amazing eaten fresh. Outside of the Food Club I spend my time with my family, kickboxing, and cooking to share great times with friends.  

 

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: Broccolini

Deanna howland

Floor & Stocking Associate

I work at the Community Food Club to help others get access at healthier foods. I enjoy seeing families and individuals get access to healthier foods, and helping others, and the people I work with. I enjoy spending time with my family, including my grandchildren, and friends, going to the movies, festivals, bowling, watching mystery movies, trying new classes on subjects I’m interested in!   

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable: Kiwi

board of directors

KURT KNOTH
Spectrum Health

Chairperson

DOUG SCHOLMA
Retired, Spartan Nash

Vice Chair

BOBBY GARMON
Community Food Club Member

ERIC JOBE
Spectrum Health

VERONICA GOUDZWAARD
Community Food Club Member

JAY ZYLSTRA
Retired, Gordon Food Service

Secretary

JERLEAN MCALISTER
Community Food Club Member

Treasurer

DAVE JACOBS
Retired, Home Repair Services

DR. TIFFANY LETTS
Metro Health

GUSTAVO ROTONDARO
Michigan 2-1-1

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