The NorthWest Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to strengthen and sustain healthy communities in Lansing’s ‘grand neighborhoods’ – the City area bounded by the Grand River on the north, east, and south.


Through community engagement and mobilization, NWI advances the development of healthy, vibrant communities by building capacity to identify needs and formulate strategies to create change.





Our Outreach team provides a range of services, information and referrals to individuals with a wide range of needs, including access to health care, produce, transportation, and housing.

Outreach services include:

  • - Emergency food distribution, held every Thursday, 11-1 pm at NorthWest Initative – 510 W. Ottawa. (Basement of First Presbyterian Church)
  • - Workshops and educational programs
  • - Referrals for: Clothing, shelter, transportation, mental health and substance abuse treatment services
  • - Mobile Farmers Market
  • -Government program sign up (Medicare, Medicaid, Bridge Card, etc.)



The Food Systems Project offers a school garden based nutrition education program that partners with Lansing area schools to provide quality, effective nutrition education programming for elementary aged  students (5-12 years old). We are currently partnering with four Lansing schools: Riddle Elementary, Willow Elementary, Sheridan Road School and Gier Park School.

Our program offers these components:

  • - In-school classroom lessons
  • - After-school garden club
  • - Summer garden camp program
  • - Food tastings at community events



Advocacy, Reentry, Resources, and Outreach (A.R.R.O.) aims to connect individuals who have a criminal record to quality resources in order to ensure successful community integration.

ARRO services include:

  • - Prison reentry
  • - Prison diversion
  • - Support groups
  • - GED preparation
  • - Assistance in benefit and resource applications
  • - Social policy advocacy and community organizing