The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market is launching a bulk foods buying Club at this weekend’s markets. Market patrons will have an opportunity to purchase bulk whole foods, e.g. dry beans, whole grain flours, nuts and seeds, pasta, rice and more. Our Kitchen Table (OKT), the organization managing the market, is pilot testing this program. Items will be ordered from Country Life Foods, a supplier to Michigan food co-ops. Orders placed at the market by August 14 will be available for pick-up at the market on August 22. The next order takes place mid- September.
As the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market accepts Bridge card/SNAP/EBT, its patrons using these programs will be able to buy bulk food items at the market along with fresh, local fruits, vegetables and herbs. The market will offer some of the bulk foods for direct purchase (beginning August 22) as well as invite patrons to place their own orders. By ordering together, minimum purchase requirements for free delivery should be able to be met. Food orders will not be marked up from the catalog price. And, OKT is not adding any kind of fee to orders.
For the past five years, OKT’s Food Diversity Project has been addressing food insecurity in Grand Rapids southeast neighborhoods through the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, its residential food gardening program, educational programming and policy work. Making bulk, staple, whole foods available to neighbors who do not otherwise have access to them furthers OKT’s goal of building a just alternative to the current industrial food system.