“Big Hunger,” discussion with author Andrew Fisher

7 p.m. Tuesday, October 24 514jG80iVzL._SL160_
Cathedral Square/Diocese of Grand Rapids

Wealthy & Division SE
Parking available in the ramp adjacent to the Diocese building, entrance on Wealthy Street.

More information and a podcast here.

Food banks and food pantries have proliferated in response to an economic emergency. The loss of manufacturing jobs combined with the recession of the early 1980s and Reagan administration cutbacks in federal programs led to an explosion in the growth of food charity. This was meant to be a stopgap measure, but the jobs never came back, and the “emergency food system” became an industry. In Big Hunger, Andrew Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.

From one perspective, anti-hunger leaders have been extraordinarily effective. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a “hunger industrial complex” that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex.

Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.


Southeast Area Farmers’ Market open Saturday at LINC

IMG_1119Look for the Yellow Market Tents!

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market
11a.m. – 4p.m. Saturdays through 11/11
At Linc, 167 Madison Ave. SE  

Due to ongoing construction at MLK Jr. Park, the market will operate at LINC through the rest of the season. The location has changed but the vendors remain the same! Stop by for Southeast GR’s finest greens, local produce, cottage kitchen foods and more!

As always, we welcome Bridge Card, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC ,
Sr. Project Fresh and SEAFM Market Bucks.

Because of the unexpected location change,the market will not be hosting its
Greens Cook-off this Saturday.

Southeast Area Farmers’ Market Canceled Oct. 14

13099808_GFor the second week in a row, OKT is canceling the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. Construction continues to block access to our market site at MLK Jr. Park. We were not informed in advance that construction was to take place. We apologize for not being able to bring you fresh local produce. We are working to make sure the market can take place at MLK Jr. Park or at another location on Oct. 21.

Meanwhile, you might want to shop these markets for your fresh fruits and veggies:

Fulton Street Farmers Market 

  • 1145 Fulton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • 8AM – 3PM, TUE WED FRI & SAT
  • WIC, Project Fresh, SNAP/Bridge Cards, Market FRESH, Double Up Food Bucks & Hoophouses for Health


Urban Roots Community Market

  • 1316 Madison Ave. SE 49507
  • 12 – 7PM WED. 9AM – 1PM  SAT
  • WIC, Project Fresh, SNAP/Bridge Cards, Sr. Market FRESH, Double Up Food Bucks

OKT and United Methodist Community House food gardening program experienced successes and challenges

UMCH-Logo_with-tagFrom June to September 2017, Our Kitchen Table worked with the United Methodist Community House to plant raised bed food gardens and engage folks of all ages in healthy eating strategies. Program participants included children from the UMCH Child Development Center and summer camp programs as well as adults from its Transitional Living and Seniors program.

OKT designed and built 22 raised beds, filled them with soil and provided organic food plants—fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. An OKT food garden coach facilitated the programming. The various UMCH programs met at the raised beds to learn about food growing and accessing healthier foods in neighborhood. Many of the adult participants also attended OKT’s food growing series and food justice class—and became patrons of the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market.

The raised beds did resent some challenges. The harvest did not yield the expected amount of food, although enough was picked to use for the food demos and classes held at the garden site. OKT is taking steps to figure out why low amounts of food were produced and amend the situation–and the soil, if needed. In its many years of growing food, OKT has not encountered such low yields before.

Thank you, United Methodist Community House, for this great opportunity to grow justice!

Deadline tomorrow! Place your order for bulk whole foods via OKT

  • Country-Life-Natural-Foods-shopping-trip.jpgPlace your whole foods order by 5 p.m. Oct. 10!
  • Pick-up Oct. 21 at Southeast Area Farmers’ Market.

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market offers its patrons and OKT constituents monthly opportunity to purchase bulk whole foods, e.g. dry beans, whole grain flours, nuts and seeds, pasta, rice and more. Items are ordered from Country Life Natural Foods, a supplier to Michigan food co-ops. View the entire PDF Catalog here. Place your order by email, seafm@OKTjustice.org, or in person at
the market.

As the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market accepts Bridge card/SNAP/EBT,you can use these to buy bulk food items at the market along with fresh, local fruits, vegetables and herbs. The market also offers some bulk foods for direct purchase.