You can still #Walk4GoodFood through May 17! By walking, raising funds, and donating, you support Access of West Michigan plus ten local organizations working to create a Good Food System for everyone in our community!
What if everyone in our community could have equal access to food that nourishes, creates good jobs, is affordable, and treats the earth well as it is produced?
We believe it’s possible.
Please join OKT from May 7 – May 17 for the 46th Annual Walk for Good Food as we continue to work to transform our food system together. By walking, raising funds, and donating, you support Access of West Michigan plus ten local organizations working to create a Good Food System for everyone in our community! Here’s who th Walk is supporting this year:
This year’s event will include an in-person kick-off event atMulick Park (1632 Sylvan Ave SE, 49506) from 2 to 4pm. The event will include t-shirt pick up, light refreshments, routes for walking, and children’s activities. Stay tuned as more details will be shared in the days to come.
May 7-17: Walk in your Neighborhood
Walkers have loved engaging in the Walk by gathering in their own community or walking on their own. Members of OKT’s walk team do not have to attend the in-person event to participate.
The City of Grand Rapids Office of Oversight and Public Accountability (OPA) and its community partners will host its second annual Clean Slate GR Expungement Program Saturday, May 13. The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. event – at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2500 Division Ave. S, Grand Rapids, MI 49507 – welcomes guests interested in learning more about the State of Michigan’s Clean Slate process.
For those who wish to attend this event, preregistration is required. Registration is now open through April 12 at grandrapidsmi.gov/OPA. The site contains information on event expectations, expungement eligibility, benefits of attending, a participant pre-registration form and a volunteer sign-up form.
Brandon Davis, director of oversight and public accountability, said he is excited to once again host this event which last year was “amazingly successful in helping more than 500 people navigate the criminal expungement process. Those efforts gave these individuals – many for the first time – the opportunity to do things like get stable housing and find meaningful employment.
“This expungement program is one of the restorative justice efforts that OPA is implementing to advance equity and justice in our criminal justice and public safety systems. This will make a positive impact on the lives of members of our community, and that is what this work is all about. We are doing life-changing work and I am proud to do it.”
This year’s Clean Slate event will also feature a social equity job program co-sponsored by JARS Cannabis. Multiple felon-friendly employers from inside and outside of the cannabis industry will be present and prepared to offer jobs to Clean Slate participants. Those companies are hiring for various dispensary-based positions, such as budtenders, delivery drivers/curbside specialists, and packagers. JARS will also offer job readiness training to individuals interested in participating.
Michigan’s “Clean Slate” legislation, signed in 2020, allows Michiganders to expunge eligible criminal records. The law made Michigan a national leader in criminal record-sealing policy and includes an automatic expungement provision that eliminates certain crimes from personal records as of April 11, 2023. The legislation and its impacts align with commitments contained in the City’s and OPA’s strategic plans to advance equity by identifying systemic issues that cause disparate outcomes in the justice system and implementing strategies to address them.
The City’s Clean Slate GR Expungement Program will not only provide and assist those who wish to file with the State for possible expungement but will assist with skill building for job interviews, provide resume reviews and distribute information on a variety of available community resources. Agencies representing veteran services, voting rights, food pantries, substance abuse treatment, housing and shelter will partner with the City during the event.
Michigan’s Clean Slate law allows first-time offenders of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) convictions (in which no one was injured), eligible to petition for expungement five years after their probation ends. The new law also makes all misdemeanors for marijuana possession and usage eligible for expungement, impacting an estimated 240,000 people. The law expands eligibility to many people who were not previously eligible because they had more than one felony and more than two misdemeanors or unpaid court fines/fees.
The Clean Slate law allows up to three felonies to be set aside in a lifetime and places a no-lifetime limit on misdemeanors. It reduces the waiting period to three years for misdemeanors and permits applications for multiple felonies after seven years.
A person is eligible for record clearance in Michigan even if they have unpaid court-assigned fines and fees. Life offenses and felony criminal sexual conduct convictions are not eligible under Clean Slate. The new law expanded eligibility to include most drug, property, and traffic offenses.
Are you pregnant, breastfeeding, or the mom of a low-birth weight baby? Are you a mom diagnosed with overweight or obesity? Do you receive SNAP, WIC, or other food assistance? Then you are invited! Actually, everybody is welcome. Join Our Kitchen Table cooking coach Belinda Henderson for a cooking demo and registered dietitian Winona Bynum in conversation on you can make easy, healthy, affordable meals for your family. • Ask Winona what foods work for you and your medical issues. • Grow a food garden in your window or on your porch. • Learn how to stretch your food budget. • Find out how to maximize your SNAP and WIC dollars at grocery stores and farmers markets.
This Saturday wraps up the 2022 season for the Southeast Area Farmers Market. We hope you will stop by to support our vendors. Our community partner will be the Kent County Food Policy Council. Chat with them about what you can do in your neighborhood to help build a better, local, equitable food system that meets everyone’s nutritional needs. Healthy food is a human right!
Artists! Bring your own table, chairs & canopy. Check in with the market manager, Belinda Henderson, at 10 a.m. for set-up instructions.
Join staff from the Grand Rapids Public Library at the Southeast Area Farmer’s Market Saturday Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m! They will read stories, sing songs, have activities, sign you up for library cards and share information on library programs.
The Safe Alliances for Everyone (SAFE) Task Force and Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) will cohost a gun buyback program 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Burton Heights Lot, 30 Burton St SW. No appointment is necessary.
Those wishing to dispose of their firearms are asked to transport unloaded weapons in the trunk of a vehicle. Personnel will not ask questions or collect any personal information. In exchange for each firearm turned in, residents will receive a gift card ranging from $100 for revolvers, shotguns and rifles to $200 for assault-type rifles and semi-automatic handguns. Black powder firearms will be accepted for disposal, but gift cards will not be given for such. Quantities of gift cards are limited and subject to availability.
The buyback program is part of SAFE’s and the GRPD’s ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime in the city. The event is funded through a $40,000 contribution from the SAFE Task Force. In 2020, during its first two buyback events, SAFE and the GRPD collected a total of 267 firearms. This year, through its enforcement efforts, the GRPD has taken more than 360 illegal guns off the street.