Over the winter, Lisa Oliver-King, executive director of Our Kitchen Table, joined the women of the Inner City Community Advocates (ICCA) for their Lose Big Challenge, a motivational physical activity and nutrition education program offered to inner-city Grand Rapids, Michigan residents with diabetes or hypertension. Oliver-King found the program to be extremely helpful. Because it does not operate over the summer, she had the idea of starting a free walking club affiliated with the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, which OKT manages.
While the Market has intermittently offered music and dance-exercise during open hours, the walking club will increase opportunity for patrons to add exercise as well as healthy foods to their lifestyle. “Being healthy isn’t just about good eating, it’s about motion,” Oliver-King says. “The walking club will get us going and feeling good without the burden of cost.”
Beginning June 1, Walkers will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays at Gerald R Ford school and/or 6:30 p.m. Fridays at Garfield Park. Neighborhood residents of all fitness levels are welcome to join. Oliver-King’s goal is to be fit enough to handle a 5-K walking event by next fall.
“It’s not only about exercise,” she says. “We will be in the park, connecting with the land and with nature, learning about the trees. And, we will be in the neighborhoods, connecting with our neighbors.”
When the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market opens Saturday June 1 at Gerald R Ford Middle School, a new market manager will be on site. However, market patrons will recognize OKT’s Roni VanBuren has been helping with set up, special events, operations and just about every other task associated with running the market for the past two tears. S
VanBuren received her Farmers’ Market manager certification in 2012 from The Michigan Farmers Market Association(MIFMA) in 2012 after completing their comprehensive Farmers’ Market Training Program in Lansing over the course of eight, day-long sessions covering Business Planning and Market Growth Management; Human Relations and Conflict Management; Market Governance, Rules and Enforcement; Fundraising; and Marketing and Outreach. A final manager-to-manager education and networking opportunity completed the program focusing on sharing experiences and lessons learned.
Former market manager, Yvonne Woodard (also MIFMA certified), is also stepping into a new role with OKT. While she will continue at the farmers’ market as a vendor and peer educator, Woodard has also taken on the role of garden coach with OKT’s yard gardening program.
Our Kitchen Table offered two free two-part gardening classes this spring, both facilitated by our favorite, gardening biochemist, Clinton Boyd, PhD. The second concludes this Saturday at LINC, 1167 Madison Ave. SE, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Even if you did not attend part one, you are welcome to attend part two!
Here are some photos from last week’s class.
Here’s what’s happening throughout 2013. Looks like a great year ahead of us! Paper copies will be available at OKT events.
Baxter Community Center put together this event flyer for the month of May.