Sign up for DOUBLE UP FOOD BUCKS at Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

When you use a SNAP Bridge Card to shop at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, the amount of DUFB SEAFM 7-25money that you spend is matched with Double Up Food Bucks. Double Up Food Bucks can then be used to buy fruits and vegetables that have been grown in Michigan—you can “double up” up to $20 per day.

You need a valid Bridge Card with food assistance benefits—and you only need to sign up only once, and it takes less than a minute. Our Kitchen Table is signing people up for Double Up Food Bucks at the Market.

You can earn up to $20 per market day in credits by using their Bridge Card to buy any approved foods with any participating vendor. Throughout Kent County, credits are stored automatically on a shopper’s Bridge Card.

You do not need to use your Double Up Food Bucks on the same day you get them. You can spend credits on fruits and vegetables grown in Michigan with participating vendors. In Grand Rapids, you can also take advantage of the Double Up Food Bucks program at the Fulton Street Farmers’ Market, YMCA Farmers’ Market and Veggie Van, Downtown Market farmers’ market and the Healthy Street Farmers’ Market.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open:

  • Fridays, 3 to 7 p.m. at Garfield Park, Burton Street and Madison Avenue SE.
  • Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gerald R Ford Academic Center, Madison Avenue just south of Franklin Street SE.

Both market sites feature local, chemical free produce and also warmly welcome SNAP/EBT, Kent County Health Department coupons,  WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.

OKT facilitating cooking classes and healthy discussions at Weston Apartments

More greens please!

More greens please!

Molina Healthcare invited OKT to facilitate four 2-hour cooking classes at Weston Apartments in Grand Rapids. While sharing tidbits on good food, healthy cooking and food justice, the OKT team also learned a lot from the participants and their journeys.






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Southeast Area Farmers’ Market off to a good start

IMG_5075The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

  • Fridays, 3 to 7 p.m. at Garfield Park, Burton Street and Madison Ave. SE
  • Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gerald R Ford Academic Center, Madison Ave. just south of Franklin St. SE
    Both market sites feature local, chemical free produce and warmly welcome SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks and WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.

Stop by for greens, lettuces, blueberries, cherries, summer squash, green beans, fresh herbs and more local, chemical-free produce! Did you make it to last Saturday’s Summer Celebration at the market? Here are some photos from the event.

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Detroit rallies for Palestine & Detroit Water Shut-offs

Reposted from The Electric Intifada  Submitted by Jimmy Johnson on Tue, 07/15/2014 – 01:10

Members of the Z Collective, one of the sponsoring organizations. (Noura Balout)


Over 1,000 people turned out for a demonstration and public outreach campaign in Detroit on Sunday outside the annual Concert of Colors on Woodword Avenue near the Wayne State University campus.

The day focused on both Israel’s ongoing military attacks against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the recent water shut-offs by the Detroit Water and Sewage Department. Tens of thousands of primarily black, working class residents are going thirsty because of this move by the bankrupted city of Detroit. It has been condemned as a public health disasterin the making by the largest professional association of nurses in the US.

An informal working group, which is part of a black-Palestinian and black-Arab solidarity effort, mobilized the largest local turnout for a Palestine event in recent years.

The crowd paused along Woodward Avenue. (Invincible)

Rather than choose symbolic or concrete places of oppression for the protest, organizers (of which I was one) decided to bring the message directly to the people. Demonstrators initially gathered outside of the Max Fisher Theater on Woodward Avenue, where the annual high-profile Concert of Colors was to begin.

The marchers engaged people they encountered in conversation, with leaflets calling for solidarity and joint struggle between Palestine and Detroit. At both the gathering spot and along the march demonstrators chanted, “Free Palestine! Free Detroit!” while numerous cars drove by with large Palestinian flags.

Claiming an elevated spot in the gathering space, Zena Ozeir, one of the organizers and a member of sponsoring organization the Z Collective (a Muslim feminist group), kicked off a series of rousing speeches, poetry and rhyme by local activists and artists from Detroit and the surrounding area.

Speakers included Dawud Walid from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Detroiter and Palestinian-American member of the Michigan state legislature Rashida Tlaib, poet Omar Aburashed and hip-hop artists and organizers Invincible and William Copeland.

The poetry and speeches addressed both the Israeli attacks on Gaza and the bureaucratic attacks on both the Palestinian and Detroit water systems. The action was endorsed by numerous organizations representing large parts of black social justice groups in Detroit and Arab, Muslim and Palestinian groups in Dearborn and metro Detroit.

At the gathering place there was a “photo booth” where demonstrators could pose for photos with protest signs as one way for the protest to produce not only speeches and chants of dissent and solidarity, but critical art as well.

In the words of Copeland, a local delegate to the 2012 World Social Forum – Free Palestine: “People were claiming and being fully present in the space.” He pointed to the rousing crowd responses and sense of camaraderie, and also to the crowd’s maintenance of the space with hundreds of people remaining for long after the action ended.

The event was a success, yet organizers saw significant room for growth in solidarity and building joint struggle between Palestine and Detroit. Copeland remarked that “It’s a long term work to connect black populations to the struggle in Palestine, and it’s a long term struggle to connect those groups supporting Palestine to the struggle in black Detroit.”

On the event’s Facebook page, some (apparently Palestinian) metro Detroit community members accused organizers of trying to “push alternate agendas” by including human rights violations in Detroit as a central part of the rally. Several people commented that the mass water shut-offs were not human rights violations at all but simply the inevitable result of an unpaid water bill.

Organizers William Copeland and Dawud Walid. (Invincible)


One demonstrator named this as part of the work to be done in building solidarity and joint struggle in Detroit, saying, “There’s a gap in communication between the African experience, the black experience, and the Arab experience.”

Indeed, it is the tens of thousands of overwhelmingly working class and black residents of Detroit who are affected by the shut-offs. Several large venues frequented more commonly by wealthier, non-black metro Detroit residents saw no shut-offs, despite unpaid water bills amounting to tens of thousands of dollars each.

The shut-offs are no more a simple bureaucratic response to unpaid water bills than Israeli administrative home demolitions are a bureaucratic response to Palestinian construction without permits. This message needs to be better communicated.

The demonstrators responded in a uniformly positive way on the day and in the time since, continuing to post glowing messages and photos on the event’s Facebook page and contacting the action’s organizers. Copeland noted that the day was “a step, a big step” in the direction of building joint struggle between Detroit and Palestine.

A full video of the day can be viewed at

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Summer Celebration Saturday

During the farmers’ market at Gerald R Ford Academic Center, Madison Avenue just south of Franklin Street SE.

vitoDJ Derrick “Vito” Hollowell will set the tone for family fun beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. In addition, the market will feature special activities, ongoing cooking demos, free kitchen gadgets, kids’ activities and prize drawings for farmers’ market vendor items.

SEAFM 7 11Special Activities

  • 11:30 a.m. West Michigan Jewels of Africa Drummers and Dancers
  • 12 p.m. Grand Rapids Fire Department. Fire truck, bicycle registration, home safety information and free smoke alarms.
  • 12 15p.m. West Michigan Jewels of Africa Drummers and Dancers
  • 12:30 p.m. Cooking Demo featuring Jill Myer, Kent County Health Department
  • 1:15 p.m. West Michigan Jewels of Africa Drummers and Dancers
  • 1:30 – 3 p.m.  Laura Casaletto, OKT Urban Forester, leads Urban Foraging activities and snack samples made with foraged local foods.
  • 1:45 West Michigan Jewels of Africa Drummers and Dancers

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open Fridays, 3 to 7 p.m. at Garfield Park, Burton Street and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Gerald R Ford Academic Center. Both market sites feature local, chemical free produce and warmly welcome SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks and WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.

Free July webinar on hazards of antibacterial cleaning products

Hosted by the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse
“GreenScreen® Assessments of Antimicrobials Triclosan and Triclocarban,” 3 p.m. TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

Presented by Beverly Thorpe, Consulting Co-Director and Co-founder Clean Production Action and Fe De Leon, Great Lakes Toxics Policy Expert and Researcher Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)

Beverly Thorpe

Triclosan and Triclocarban are widely used as antibacterial/antimicrobial agents in many products including cosmetics, personal care consumer products, textiles and food contact materials. GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, a recognized tool for comparative chemical hazard assessment, was used to assess the environmental and human health profile of both of these chemicals.
GreenScreen® classifies Triclosan as a GreenScreen® Benchmark 1 (Avoid – Chemical of High Concern) and Triclocarban as a GreenScreen® Benchmark 2 (Use –  but Search for Safer Substitutes).  These results will add new support for the growing movement to restrict Triclosan as well as demonstrate the value of comprehensive chemical hazard screening for informed substitution to both regulators and businesses.


Beverley Thorpe is Consulting Co-Director, and co-founder, of Clean Production Action and she has worked to advance safer chemicals policy for over 25 years. Her current focus is the promotion of Green Chemistry within government policy, company practices and advocacy campaigns and she continues to train, teach and publish materials that advance clean production strategies.  She is a regular guest lecturer on company best practice in chemicals policy at Lund University, Sweden and is a current board member of the Story of Stuff in the U.S. and Greenpeace Canada.

Fe de Leon is a researcher with the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and has worked extensively on toxic substances particularly in the Great Lakes Basin, on the federal chemicals management plan and on international efforts to address persistent toxic substances through the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Great Lakes Quality Agreement, and a global treaty to address mercury. She has works collaboratively with Canadian and international non-governmental organizations to support the listing of chrysotile asbestos for Prior Informed Consent Procedures under the Rotterdam Convention. She has coordinated the efforts of member organizations of the Canadian Environmental Network Toxics Caucus and made numerous submissions regarding the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the National Pollutant Release Inventory, and risk assessment and risk management reports for specific toxic substances, including persistent organic pollutants and endocrine disrupting substances.