Save Local Farms event Oct. 4

RSVP here!



“Art at the Market” added festive flair to farmer’s market

IMG_1150Along  with local produce, delicious cakes, pickles and chow chow, last Saturday at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market offered Art at the Market.

Rokhaya Ndao, Motherland Beauties, showcased handmade jewelry, bags, African art and fabrics crafted by women in Senegal, who profit from their sales.  women’s projects in Senegal, West Africa. Fine artists Alma Suarez, Derrick Hollowell and Eddie Kurlowicz shared prints  of paintings and pencil drawings; Alma offered small sculptures depicting Catrinas, figures featured as part of the holiday Dia de los Muertos. Crafters vended jump ropes, scarves and kitchen accessories. Market manager, Yvonne Woodard, was proud to share the children’s book her son, Chris Dudley, illustrated,  “Nyrah’s Bully Friend.”

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Call for artists!

Art at the Market 8x5The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market hosts “Art at the Market” during market hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 900 Fuller Ave. SE 49506.  The market invites local fine artists and crafters to stop by and vend at the market with no vendor fee.

Our neighborhoods have many accomplished artists in its midst. Art at The Market will provide them an opportunity to showcase their talents, inspire their neighbors and share any messages that their art expresses. The date was chosen to coincide with Artprize as this event is not always accessible to artists from the Market’s neighborhoods or neighbors living nearby.

The market is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Artists will need to provide their own tables, tents and chairs.

Celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week!

BBW-Logo-AugustDatesTop Five Reasons We Need A Black Breastfeeding Week

Black Breastfeeding Week was created because for over 40 years there has been a gaping racial disparity in breastfeeding rates. The most recent CDC data show that 75% of white women have ever breastfed versus 58.9% of black women. The fact that racial disparity in initiation and even bigger one for duration has lingered for so long is reason enough to take 7 days to focus on the issue, but here are a few more:

1. The high black infant mortality rate: Black babies are dying at twice the rate (in some place, nearly triple) the rate of white babies. This is a fact. The high infant mortality rate among black infants is mostly to their being disproportionately born too small, too sick or too soon. These babies need the immunities and nutritional benefit of breast milk the most. According to the CDC, increased breastfeeding among black women could decrease infant mortality rates by as much as 50%. So when I say breastfeeding is a life or death matter, this is what I mean. And it is not up for debate or commenting. This is the only reason I have ever needed to do this work, but I will continue with the list anyway.

2. High rates of diet-related disease: When you look at all the health conditions that breast milk—as the most complete “first food,” has been proven to reduce the risks of—African American children have them the most. From upper respiratory infections and Type II diabetes to asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and childhood obesity—these issues are rampant in our communities. And breast milk is the best preventative medicine nature provides.

3. Lack of diversity in lactation field: Not only are there blatant racial disparities in breastfeeding rates, there is a blatant disparity in breastfeeding leadership as well. It is not debatable that breastfeeding advocacy is white female-led. This is a problem. For one, it unfortunately perpetuates the common misconception that black women don’t breastfeed. It also means that many of the lactation professionals, though well-intentioned, are not culturally competent, sensitive or relevant enough to properly deal with African American moms. This is a week to discuss the lack of diversity among lactation consultants and to change our narrative. A time to highlight, celebrate and showcase the breastfeeding champions in our community who are often invisible. And to make sure that breastfeeding leadership also reflects the same parity we seek among women who breastfeed.

4. Unique cultural barriers among black women: While many of the “booby traps”™ to breastfeeding are universal, Black women also have unique cultural barriers and a complex history connected to breastfeeding. From our role as wet nurses in slavery being forced to breastfeed and nurture our slave owners children often to the detriment of our children, to the lack of mainstream role models and multi-generational support , to our own stereotyping within our community—we have a different dialogue around breastfeeding and it needs special attention.

5. Desert-Like Conditions in Our Communities: Many African American communities are “first food deserts”—it’s a term I coined to describe the desert like conditions in many urban areas I visited where women cannot access support for the best first food-breast milk. It is not fair to ask women, any woman, to breastfeed when she lives in a community that is devoid of support. It is a set up for failure.

Posted August 19, 2014 in: 2014 by Kimberly Seals Allers


Make your voice known on the VoiceKent survey at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Saturday

VoiceKent-Color-768x210VoiceKent (previously known as VoiceGR) is a community survey offered in partnership with the Kent County Health Department in 2017. The survey is designed uniquely to connect demographics with the opinions, attitudes, and perceptions of Kent County residents on topics such as ability to meet basic needsaccess to healthcareneighborhood safetyemploymenteducation, and racism and discrimination. The data gathered from the survey is meant to help create a baseline to stimulate conversation on pertinent issues to our region.

The primary goal of VoiceKent is to provide objective data to residents, nonprofits, governments, businesses, and other decision makers regarding the perceptions and needs of the community.

Saturday Aug. 2 is the last time VoiceKent will be at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market.

If you can’t make it to the market Saturday, click here to take the 2017 VoiceKent survey!

Tomar la encuesta en Español.