Meet Up & Eat Up with the Lions and Ford Wraps Up Second Season

Posted Oct 28, 2014

The second season of Meet Up and Eat Up at Eastern Market concluded Tuesday.

The Detroit Lions wrapped up the second season of their Meet Up & Eat Up with the Lions and Ford program this afternoon at Detroit Eastern Market. The program focused on addressing the issue of food insecurity and hunger in the Detroit community by providing students with unique learning opportunities that could not have been taught in the classroom.

For seven weeks, the Lions and Ford hosted Detroit Public Schools (DPS) students every Tuesday for a fun-filled day of activities with Lions players, alumni and mascot Roary. This year, a record number of players and alumni participated, including Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Eric Ebron, Lomas Brown, Bennie Blades, Mel Farr, Mel Gray and Jason Hanson.

The new partnership between the Lions and Ford Motor Company Fund brought a unique addition to the program. Each week a co-branded Ford Transit donated by the Ford Fund assisted in transporting and delivering meals to the community. A host of other community partners supported the program by conducting different activities to make a lasting impact by educating Detroit youth about the importance of nutrition and exercise.

Playworks Detroit started the mornings off with a Play 60 recess for students to engage in activities such as jump rope, four square, hula hoop and relay races followed by a question and answer session with Lions players and alumni. Using Double up Food Bucks provided by Fair Food Network, DPS students shopped Eastern Market and learned about fresh produce from local farmers with assistance from Lions players and alumni. The students also enjoyed a healthy snack demonstration by Lions Executive Chef Joe Nader. To enhance the unique learning experience, Wayne State University public health and medical students used preserved human organs and other interactive educational lessons to demonstrate the impact of nutrition.

With the collaborative efforts of United Way for Southeastern Michigan and other community partners, Meet Up & Eat Up with the Lions and Ford will continue educating Detroit youth and the local community about eating fresh fruits and vegetables and their accessibility within the city.

-Kelsey Rentner