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! Join Our Kitchen Table cooking coaches and guest chefs for a cooking demo and conversation on you can make easy, healthy, affordable meals for your family.
• Ask Tracy Booth, our registered dietitian, what foods work for you and your medical issues.
• Grow a food garden in your window or on your porch.
• Receive vouchers good at the Southeast Area Farmers Market and select retailers.
• Learn how to stretch your food budget.
• Find out how to maximize your SNAP and WIC dollars at grocery stores and farmers markets.
Join on Facebook Live or register for a Zoom link by emailing: media@OKTjustice.org or texting 616-206-3641.
Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and the Access Walk for Good Food is just around the corner. As of last year, we’ve adapted the Walk in accordance with safety precautions related to COVID-19. Instead of bringing together over 700 walkers in one day, we will be asking people to walk in their own neighborhoods anytime between May 2 and 12.
Last year, our first remote Walk was an immense success. Though COVID-19 continues, we find great purpose in continuing a historic event that carries such rich meaning in our community. In the face of injustice, walks of solidarity and intention have been grassroots means by which people have historically shown they support a cause dear to their heart. This is why we ask our community to walk. We believe in a Good Food System, with abundant access to food that nourishes, creates connection, and supports thriving local economies and opportunity for all.
We are thankful for our title sponsors, SpartanNash and Andy J. Egan Company Inc., along with many others who are supporting this year’s Walk for Good Food. The Walk is one of the best ways to invest in long term impact and food justice in our community. As we move forward from the impact of COVID-19 on our community it is more important than ever to support organizations working to provide healthy, fair, green, and affordable food to those who need it the most.
By walking, teams and individuals are able to raise funds for non-profit organizations doing crucial work in our community. Over the course of 43 years, the Walk has raised more than $6 million for dozens of local and international non-profits. This year, the Walk will fund 14 organizations working towards a good food system. The work of these organizations ranges from community gardening and neighborhood-based fresh markets to meal delivery programs and community development initiatives.
This year’s Walk for Good Food will remain remote. This means households are encouraged to walk in their neighborhoods. You can do your walk anytime between May 2 and May 12. Follow along via Access’ social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) using #Walk4GoodFood Participants will receive an individual fundraising page that can be used to collect donations. Those not interested in walking can still create a fundraising page. For those not interested in online fundraising, donations can be sent to:
Access of West Michigan 1700 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508
The Walk is a way to bring together community members to highlight and support local organizations addressing food security and injustice. We invite you to walk and support a thriving food system for all that is healthy, green, fair, and affordable.
Vermont-based White Light Foundation, a non-profit built on a common bond of music, community, love, and generosity, in partnership with the band, Twiddle, supports organizations important to the band and the community that supports them. Through fundraising and community initiatives, White Light Foundation assists various charitable organizations and community causes.
In February, the foundation surprised Our Kitchen Table (OKT) with a $1,000 donation, which later grew to a total of $2,500 as part of its 4th Month of Giving, which took place during Black History Month this year. The two initiatives funded included community bail funds and the elimination of food apartheid.
When OKT’s executive director learned of the donation, she replied, “WOW! Thank you for this wonderful news. Out Kitchen Table is truly humbled and appreciative for this generous donation. Thank you for choosing Our Kitchen Table to receive a donation as part of your Month of Giving program.”
The unexpected, unsolicited email shared, “We are honored to support you and excited to share the amazing work you do with our supporters. We will be announcing the gift from our Facebook page along with a few other organizations we are supporting and will tag you and encourage people to check out the amazing work you are doing.”
In addition, White Light Foundation invited the women of OKT to join them for a video community learning session about OKT’s work shared via social media.
“Our goal [is to] share it with our community and beyond. Our hope is to educate people not only about what you do but to provide context around the important definitions related to the causes we are supporting – like systemic racism and food apartheid,” said Steve Perlah, White Light Foundation president and CEO. “As a predominantly white organization and fan base supporting a white band from Vermont, we have learned that one of the ways we can truly do more is to help provide access to understanding and learning. It is my sincere belief that ignorance and a lack of understanding is what makes terms like white privilege, systemic racism, and food apartheid so emotionally charged.”
We here at Our Kitchen Table want to let you know that our hearts are with you during this 2020 holiday season. For some of us, the holidays will still hold opportunity for fun and fellowship with loved ones, though perhaps fewer of them than in years past.
For others of us, grief, loneliness, and financial difficulties may be fueling anxiety and depression.
The guide shares, “To preserve mental health, it is essential to maintain a sense of purpose and belonging. It is also important to find inventive ways to connect with others virtually through Facetime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Do this by maintaining engagement with faith and cultural institutions in a virtual capacity for social support. Additionally, to maintain connectedness with family cook dinner in your respective kitchens and have a remote dinner together while taking turns telling your favorite family story and reminiscing about past events.
Engage in Dr. Sue Varma’s 4 Ms of Mental Health: movement (exercising), meaningful engagement (connecting with other people), mastery (being creative), and mindfulness (deep breathing and being aware). Practicing this formula can bring peace of mind during stressful times. Lastly, make plans and remain hopeful because learning to cope with pandemic stress in a healthy way not only makes you stronger, but makes our community stronger.
Browse the NAMI-Michigan website for even more mental health resources.
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.