As a pilot program of its Food Diversity Project and the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market, Our Kitchen Table began offering market patrons the opportunity to order bulk whole foods from Country Life Natural Foods
, a supplier to food co-ops throughout the Midwest. The numbers are in and the first order was a success! “We had a total of seven households order. The families ordered combined total purchases of $650.60,” says Christina Flier, manager of the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market. “Four of them will be utilizing their food subsidies to purchase through the market, partnered with their Double Up Food Bucks. These families have just increased their pantries, will be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, and create wholesome meals for their families while supporting their community and maximizing their benefits. It’s a win – win for everyone.”
Flier will be placing Country Life orders on a monthly basis, with the next order being submitted mid-September. Market patrons and OKT constituents can order from paper catalogs available at the market or from the online catalog on Country Life’s website
. OKT does not add any mark-ups or fees. After the orders arrive,those making purchases can pick them up at the market. The market will also keep some staples on site for direct purchase.
“Thank you to everyone who participated this time around. I’m beyond excited and feel this will be such a positive addition (to the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market),” Flier says. “We all deserve access to nutritious whole foods!
On Saturday, OKT garden coaches, Jeff Smith and Camilla Voelkers, picked up the organic starter food plants that Blandford Farm grower, Aaron Snippe, tended for the OKT’s Food Diversity Project yard and community gardens. This slide show gives you a peak inside the greenhouse. Thank you, Aaron, for all of your great work!
“Today was so rewarding. I spent the morning harvesting food from the rooftop garden at MLK School and the afternoon passing out the beautiful greens, herbs and lettuce to community members. ” Chaka Holley, OKT staff member (far left).
Early Tuesday morning, July 3, Our Kitchen Table (OKT) staff and community leadership circle members harvested food from the Martin Luther King Leadership Academy rooftop garden. Last spring, OKT worked alongside students from Mr. Andrew Ipple’s class at MLK to plant the food as part of OKT’s Food Diversity Project. While the students are on summer break, OKT has been allowed to maintain the garden, thanks to the support of Grand Rapids Public Schools and the school’s summer staff.
The harvest was abundant!
By 11 a.m., OKT was at another Grand Rapids Public school, Gerald R Ford Middle School, to share the food with neighborhood families. Parents picking their children up from summer school programs were invited to take collards, kale, lettuces and other fresh produce at no charge.
OKT staff will now begin to plant fall crops in the MLK rooftop garden so the students from Mr. Ipple’s class who planted the garden in the spring can also share in its abundance.