OKT will present at “Rise Up & Drawdown” statewide conference on climate change solutions

Rise-Up-DrawdownLet’s Rise Up & Drawdown Carbon in Michigan

From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  September 25, the Michigan Community will come together at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids to offer local solutions and opportunities for engagement on the important subject of climate change. The stakes have never been higher and will require action at every scale and across every sector.

Participants will begin the day learning from our state and local government leaders who will confirm the direction of the mitten state followed by a keynote presentation from Paul Hawken, who is shifting the larger global conversation on climate change from “doom and gloom” to a sense of opportunity, possibility, and hope for the future.

Next, the focus will engage in local solutions. Would you like to support policy advancement? Perhaps you’d like to advance clean energy? Or maybe you’d like to learn how we can reduce food waste? Increase mass transit?  Build and operate sustainable buildings? There will be something for everyone.

Finally participants will be encouraged to act locally. The solutions to climate change exist and are economically viable.  Human beings have a history of solving complex problems and we will rise to the challenge.  The cost of inaction is catastrophic and no change is too small. We are in this together and together we will prevail creating a socially just world focused on human health, security and prosperity.

OKT’s Lisa Oliver-King will take part in a panel discussion focusing on our Program for Growth along with colleagues Winona Bynum, Detroit Food Systems Council; Phil Jones, lead chef, Make Food, Not Waste; and Daniel Todd, director, Make Food Not Waste. Carissa Patrone, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, will moderate the panel.

Ticket prices vary, with a $25 Advancing Equity ticket available for community members.

September at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

Sept. 7, 14, and 21: The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market will meet 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the LINC parking lot on Madison Avenue SE 49507 (just north of Hall Street) .
Sept. 28: The market will take place at MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller SE 49506.

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Here are some of the activities we have planned for you!

  • Grand Rapids Public Library will host Storytime at the market on Sept. 14 through Oct. 26.
  • Look for United Healthcare’s table at the market. They will be sharing information on how to access free benefits with Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Longtime vendor Ms. Yvonne Woodard will lead a “Make Your Own Personal Care Items” workshop at the market on Sept. 21.

Grand Rapids Public Library Storytime at Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

GrpLJoin staff from the Grand Rapids Public Library for a very special story time at the Southeast Area Farmer’s Market every Saturday starting Sept. 14 from 12 – 3 p.m! They will read stories, sing songs, have activities, and information on library programs. Come celebrate!

The Southeast Area Farmer’s Market meets from 11 a,m, to 4 p.m. at:

  • LINC, 1167 Madison Ave just north of Hall St. on Sept. 14 and 21, Oct. 5, 12 and 19; and Nov. 2 and 9.
  • MLK Jr Park on Sept 28  and Oct. 26.

OKT Publication receives good reviews!

A Guide for Replication vignetteOKT has finished the second phase of its Program for Growth: A Guide for Replicationwhich was presented to the State of Michigan in response to State grant support being provided to the Program. The first phase, Growing Community, Justice, and Food, was developed in 2018 in partnership with The City of Grand Rapids.

This section includes information on soil, seeds, planting, growing and harvesting; food gardening and lead poisoning prevention; herbs; food justice and access; and healthy recipes made with garden fresh ingredients.

This year, we added Growing Healthy Eating Habits, which was developed with input from dietitian Tracy Booth, RDA, who has been hosting group and individual sessions with Program for Growth participants. The section gives advice on eating to prevent lead poisoning, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, healthy fats, salt substitutes, fruits and vegetables, proteins, how to read food labels, and food safety.

We are working on a third phase which will address air and soil quality in Grand Rapids. You can view and download Program for Growth – A Guide for Replication for free at the OKT website.

Meet our new market manager!

20190824_110954.jpgSoutheast Area Farmers’ Market
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday Sept. 7
LINC Lot, 1167 Madison Ave. SE 49507 (just north of Hall St.)

Ayanfe Jamison has stepped into the market manager role at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. She also works at New City Farm as its garden coordinator and farm assistant.

Ayanfe hails from North Carolina and has great experience with agriculture, community development, and youth empowerment. When you stop by the market Saturday, please give her a warm welcome!

The market will meet at the LINC lot on Sept. 7, 14, and 21. and at MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller SE 49506 on Sept. 28.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market provides a wide variety of local produce, cottage kitchen foods, personal care items, crafts and ready-to-eat foods. Our vendors are primarily women of color, home growers and residents of OKT’s targeted neighborhoods. In addition to providing access to healthy food, the market hosts meal preparation activities, workshops and guests from community organizations.

We welcome Bridge Card, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC and many other assistance and coupon programs. How the Double Up Food Bucks Program Works 

Free tickets for the GR Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony will be celebrating their 90th season this year. Any client receiving assistance from DHHS is eligible for a Scorecard. Cardholders are entitled to four complimentary tickets to more than 20 different Symphony events! Last year, the Symphony provided 4,112 tickets to Scorecard members!

If you are interested, contact Colene Johnson, Community Resource Coordinator, Kent Co. DHHS at Johnsonc18@michigan.gov


Get fresh produce for your Labor Day cookout at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

Kids FOod BAsket.jpg

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Southeast Area Farmers’ Market
Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
8-31-2019 at LINC parking lot
Madison Ave. just north of Hall Street SE.

Kids Food Basket is joining the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market this Saturday as a vendor. Their melons, tomatoes, and sunflowers will be a wonderful complement to the fresh Michigan produce our other vendors will on hand.

For more convenient access to rest room facilities, the market will meet at LINC most weekends through November. See exact dates and locations below.

2019 yard sign