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Black Breastfeeding Matters!

Celebrate Balck Breastfeeding Week! Watch Kiddada Green’s presentation on the historical, societal and social barriers black women face when choosing to breastfeed.

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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

 

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market — July specials!

SEAFM logo 6 2017The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market takes place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 900 Fuller Ave. SE 49506. In addition to fresh, local produce and cottage kitchen goodies, the market has cooking demos scheduled for the last two weeks in July.

The July 22 demo will feature easy, healthy affordable recipes featuring in-season produce. The market will also host special guests from Bridge Magazine. Bridge’s mission is “to inform Michigan citizens about their state, amplify their views and explore the challenges of our civic life. Our goal at Bridge is simple: To better inform Michigan’s private citizens so as to encourage a vibrant state in both the private and public sectors.” Patrons who sign up to subscribe at the market will receive a free tote bag and be entered to win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards. Stop by their table to share issues you feel this publication ought to be covering! Stop by their table to share issues you feel this publication ought to be covering!

Green tomato CookbookOn July 29, the market will host its annual Fried Green Tomato Festival. Patrons can sample fried green tomatoes and other green tomato delicacies. In addition, the market will hand out free Green Tomato Cookbooks, featuring everything from southern fried green tomatoes and chow-chow to pickles and green tomato cake. The market will also hand out coupons good towards the purchase of green tomatoes.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT, Double Up Food Bucks and debit cards. When using the Double Up Food Bucks program, patrons purchasing Michigan produce at select farmers’ markets with Bridge cards receive $1 for each $1 dollar spent, up to $20 each market visit.

For information, email seafm@OKTjustice.org or visit http://www.OKTjustice.org/farmers-market

 

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market opens Saturday July 1

13882561_1253537447998287_2460462587423020698_nThe Southeast Area Farmers’ Market kicks off its 2017 season on Saturday July 1 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 900 Fuller Ave. SE 49506. The market will operate Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Nov. 11. Market events commence July 8 with a visit from the Grand Rapids Fire Department Residential Safety Program and an Urban Foraging Workshop (noon to 2 p.m.). A new addition to the market, once a month it will host area artists at its Arts Market tent.

“As market managers for the past seven years, Our Kitchen Table has well established the market at MLK Jr. Park,” says Lisa Oliver-King, executive director of Our Kitchen Table. “Neighborhood residents have enjoyed having access to fresh, local produce and cottage foods within walking distance.”

dufb_bridgecardThe Southeast Area Farmers’ Market warmly welcomes patrons using Bridge cards (SNAP), WIC Project Fresh, Cash Value Benefits, Summer EBT, Double Up Food Bucks and debit cards. When using the Double Up Food Bucks program, patrons purchasing Michigan produce at select farmers’ markets with Bridge cards receive $1 for each $1 dollar spent, up to $20 each market visit.

The Market has an exciting line-up of market activities on its 2017 calendar. In addition, community organizations will be on hand with information, activities and services. The following events will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Friday market and 12 to 2 p.m. at the Saturday market:

 

  • July 8 Urban Foraging Workshop
  • July 30 Fried Green Tomato Festival
  • Aug. 5 DIY Personal Care Items Workshop
  • Sept. 15 Art at the Market
  • Oct. 1 Greens Cook-off
  • Oct. 7 Greens Cook-0ff
  • Nov. 4 Fall Celebration

Cooking Demos: July 22, Aug. 19, Sept. 23, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4.

 

Arts Market Tent:  July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 16 and Oct. 21

 

For information, email seafm@OKTjustice.org or visit http://www.OKTjustice.org/farmers-market


 

 

Free! May food gardening & cooking classes!

Deanna 2Our Kitchen Table invotes you to join us for our four-part food gardening series, taught by farmer Leslie Huffman.

· May 1 & June 5: How to Plan Your Food Garden 1
· May 8 & June 12: How to Plan Your Food Garden 2
· May 15 & June 19: Composting & Vermiculture
· May 22, June 26: How to Save Seeds

These classes take place Mondays 6 – 8 p.m. at Garfield Park Lodge, 334 Burton SE, Grand Rapids. OKT is also partnering with Baxter Community Center to offer these additional May classes at Baxter, 935 Baxter SE 49506 (Bemis entrance):

Wednesday May 3: Cooking with Whole and Bulk Foods. This class will take a look at foods you can order through OKT’s Collective Whole Foods Purchase Group and how to prepare some simple meals and snacks with them, e.g. oatmeal, popcorn, dried beans and quinoa and trail mixes.

Wednesday May 10: Canning Basics. Baxter staff will take us to the kitchen and show us how to preserve foods from our gardens and farm markets.

Baxter Community Center and other area agencies are offering many other gardening and cooking classes, as well. Check them out on the 2017 Healthy Happenings Calendar below.2017 combined calendar Online rev..