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.

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.

Farmers’ Market at LINC Saturday

Did you know that the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market meets 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays — alternately at two sites? Let us now what you think about our schedule!

2019 yard sign

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. Click here to learn How the Double Up Food Bucks Program Works. 

HAELFS brings fresh, local farm foods to area pantries

HAELFS stands for Health, Access, and Equity in our Local Food System, and is the name of the collaborative project that Access’ Good Food System team heads up along five affordable food market sites.
“By the end of year three year, we will have purchased all of our food from Michigan farms,” shared a member of the HAELFS Collaborative at a recent planning session.
The HAELFS collaborative has finished it’s second year, and last week spent time planning and dreaming for year three. Since the collaborative has begun, each partner site has opened an affordable food market in their community. Each market creates access for food insecure individuals to acquire nutritious food at a low cost. Produce available at the markets is sourced from local small farms, stimulating the local food economy. Together, we are working to create a culture of health within communities. As culture shifts, community members have begun to take action to influence their own local food system. Each site hosts weekly neighbor led classes with residents who are involved in farm share programs. Classes include everything from cooking, recipe sharing, gardening, trips to local farms, and food justice training.
“Collaboration is a key part of our mission at Access and that carries into our food work. We ALL have a part to play in bettering the local food system for ALL people,” shares Erin Skidmore, Good Food Systems Coordinator, “we know we have work to do as we intentionally move away from the traditional charity model and into more innovative, creative solutions that address root causes of food insecurity.”
The HAELFS collaborative is one example of the Good Food Systems work being done at Access.