Tag Archive | Food Justice

Bike the SECA Foodscape Saturday!

OKT_WOC_September_FoodlandscapeTourMeet OKT at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market this Saturday Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. to join the OKT “Bike the Foodscape” bicycle tour of SECA neighborhood. The tour will leave from G R Ford Academic Center promptly at 3:30 and return there as its last stop. Cyclists will bike a two mile jaunt with stops at ten food destinations: 1. LINC Soul Food Café; 2. Duthler’s grocery store; 3. Browning Claytor health clinic; 4. Madison Square CRC food pantry; 5. Mr. Henry’s garden; 6. OKT grower’s garden; 7. BP Gas Station; 8. Burger King; 9. Kent County DHS; and 10. The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market.


At each stop, OKT tour guides will dialogue with the tour attendees about the kinds of food available in neighborhood, foraging, food justice, food security and how to access to healthy foods in neighborhood. In addition, OKT will furnish its seven-part series of hand-outs on Food Justice. These answer questions about what is food justice, the role women of color have played in the food justice movement, farmers’ markets’ role in food justice and more. You can view them and download them online here.


The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at Gerald R Ford Academic Center through November 8. The market warmly welcomes SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) and WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market and Food Justice

Mr. Henry selling organic collards, kale, mustard and sweet potato greens at the Southeast Area Farmers' Market.

Mr. Henry selling organic collards, kale, mustard and sweet potato greens at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market.

While most farmers’ markets have a business goal in mind, the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market’s main goal is food justice. Increasing access to healthy food in Grand Rapids’ southeast neighborhoods is the market’s food justice goal.

Food Justice grew out of the Environmental Justice movement, where communities of color and poor working class people began to realize that their lack of access to healthy and affordable food was not the result of their own behavior, but of a food system that was motivated by profit. It’s not that our neighborhoods are food deserts. Rather, they are victims of food apartheid.

If you’d like to discover more information about food justice, visit the OKT website to see the entire OKT Food Justice Series. The series includes information on the Farm Bill, GMOs, food workers’ rights, climate change and food justice, the impact women of color have had on the food justice movement and more.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays at Gerald R Ford Academic Center through November 8. The market warmly welcomes SNAP/EBT, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) and WIC & Sr. ProjectFresh as well as cash and debit cards.

2nd WOC Convening opened opportunities for impactful dialogue

Last night’s 2nd Women of Color Convening laid the foundation for important dialogue about food justice. The community members present shared their keen insights into the current food system’s role in denying people of color equal access to healthy foods, hence, promoting under-nutrition and disease in their communities. Facilitator, Lila Cabbil, president emeritus, Rosa Parks Institute, guided the dialogue. These kinds of conversations are evidence that change is not merely coming, it is already here.

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” I really enjoyed the OKT’s Women of Color /Food Justice event last night. I am excited about all that I learned and I’m anxious to attend more events.  I am still sharing the information I learned.” Gloria, attendee

Rapid Growth covers LaDonna Redmond’s upcoming appearance at OKT convening

Reposted from Rapid Growth

… do good

Food justice activist LaDonna Redmond tells it like it is

“Food justice is not just about nutrition,” says LaDonna Redmond. “It’s about dignity, and it’s about being visible.”

On Saturday, April 27, the nationally renowned food justice activist and TEDx-featured speaker will present ‘Historical Trauma and Food Justice’ from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sherman Street Church, 1000 Sherman SE, Grand Rapids. Lunch will be provided. (See how to RSVP, below.)

“We have a food system that has largely been built on the backs of people who don’t have a lot of rights and access to our public policy infrastructure,” says Redmond. “We need to collectively better understand the inequities in the food system, and make sure we include people who have faced these inequities in finding solutions.”

Converting vacant city lots to urban farm sites is a great start. But, Redmond says, “I live in a community where I can get a semi-automatic weapon quicker than I can get a tomato. The public health issue of violence is connected to the public health issue of chronic, diet-related diseases. In my community, it is about living or dying. You can die by the gun or from the lack of proper food.”

Redmond says that the food justice movement is really about the narratives of people of color and beginning to understand that the stories that we tell ourselves in the food movement are as important as the stories that we’ve left out.

“We must include in this the narrative of modern slavery,” she says. “Our food system today is still based on the exploitation of the labor of immigrants in this country. While we are talking about access to free-range chickens and grass-fed beef, we need to also be talking about immigration reform and fair wages for those farm workers, but, the people who serve us, who fix our food, should be paid fairly.”

A long-time community activist, Redmond has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities.

In early April 2013, she launched the Campaign for Food Justice Now (CFJN), a membership-based organization that will use a race, class, and gender analysis to promote food and agricultural system reforms, and advocate for the adoption of right-to-food policies in the U.S.

Get involved:

- Attend Redmond’s presentation at Sherman Street Church — RSVP here or call (616) 206-3641.
– Watch Redmond’s TEDx presentation on Food Justice.
– Visit the Campaign for Food Justice Now’s website.
– Visit Our Kitchen Table’s website to learn more about food justice.

Sources: Stelle Slootmaker, Our Kitchen Table; LaDonna Redmond, TEDx presentation
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Images: Courtesy of Our Kitchen Table and LaDonna Redmond

Snyder continues to stack Ag commission with agribusiness people

Reposted from GRIID.org

Yesterday, MLive reported that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appointed a new member to theMichigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Fred Walcott, who works for Valley View Pork near Allendale, is the newest of the five-member commission, that is exclusively made up of people who work for large agribusiness operations.

Walcott, who works at a 4,000 acre farm, will serve as commissioner along with Bob Kennedy, who is Vice President of Operations for Auburn Bean and Grain. The website for this business reads like a stock market sheet instead of a place where people respect the land and care for the earth.

Also serving on the Ag Commission is Diane Hansen, owner of Hansen Seed Farm and Donald Coe, the managing partner of Black Star Farms. Based on the information at Black Star Farms, it appears to be more of a tourist destination than a farm.

The fifth member of the Michigan Agriculture Commission is Trever Meachum, who is the production manager for High Acres Fruit Farm, a 3,000 acre farm in Van Buren County.

Adding Walcott demonstrates that the Governor is only interested in having the perspectives of people involved in large agribusiness operations. There is no one on the commission that seems committed to organic and sustainable farming practices, or people who are committed to promoting food justice.

Walcott is also part of the Michigan Pork Producers Association, which represents the interests of large factory farming operations, also known as CAFOs, in Michigan.

More importantly, groups like the Michigan Pork Producers Association and the industry groups represented by those on the ag commission, are also actively involved in federal farm policy issues and are engaged in lobbying efforts to continue the massive taxpayer subsidies currently operating through the Federal Farm Bill.

According to the Environmental Working Group, Michigan Farmers received $79,450,000 in federal subsidies for 2011. Looking at the list of farms that did receive massive subsidies, the majority of them are larger agribusiness operations and not smaller farms engaged in Community Supported Agriculture.

This announcement, coming from Snyder, is another blow to those who are part of the local food movement and those who work for food justice.