Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative is a group of 40 organizations developing ways to ensure that everyone in Detroit – especially the most vulnerable children – has access to affordable, healthy locally grown food and opportunities to be physically active.

Detroit to Showcase Successes at 2016 Michigan Good Food Summit

promo-bannerDetroit’s good food leaders will be an integral part of the 2016 Michigan Good Food Summit on Friday October 28, at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative members and friends who are or would like to be involved in the Michigan Good Food movement are welcome to attend! All are invited to register for the Summit, which is hosted by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (MSU CRFS).

2014 Summit

2014 Summit

Detroit leaders who will share about their good food successes and who are helping to shape Michigan’s good food future will include:

  • Devita Davison, marketing and communications director of FoodLab Detroit, will be presenting on the keynote panel, “Perspectives on the road to 2020: Where we’ve come and where we’re going” with Chuck Wolford, food service and purchasing consultant, Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency and Brian Bates, owner of Bear Creek Organic Farm.
  • Winona Bynum, executive director of the Detroit Food Policy Council will be part of a panel on policy and advocacy approaches towards a healthy sustainable food system. This panel will highlight the work of two local food policy councils and explore their work in policy and community development.
  • Anita Singh, Damanique Stinson, Sa’naya Davis-Jones and Doriawn Rogers of Keep Growing Detroit and Angela Abiodun and Sarah Scarborough of the Detroit Food Academy will lead a workshop that reviews how to develop and build organizational capacity for youth.
  • Cary Junior, general manager of the South East Michigan Producers Association in Royal Oak will discuss how to address food insecurity with local food systems in a lightening round session.
  • A panel reviewing connecting kids to healthy food at schools will include Monica DeGarmo and Brook Juday of Detroit Public Schools, and it will provide resources and ideas for how farm to school efforts can serve not only the students, but also their families. Efforts in both Detroit and Flint will be highlighted.
  • As part of the afternoon’s lightning round, Aaron Egan of Eastern Market Corporation will talk about successful programing for food entrepreneurs and educators in Detroit.
  • Performance artist Mike Ellison will come together with Detroit performers Chi Amen-Ra and Delaney “D-Love” Ragland for the closing performance.

Spaces are available on a bus from Detroit to and from the Summit sponsored by MSU

Panel at 2014 Michigan Good Food Summit

Panel at 2014 Michigan Good Food Summit

CRFS. Contact Kibibi Blount-Dorn at for more information.

The 2016 Michigan Good Food Summit: The Road to 2020 will be a celebration of local and state successes and an opportunity to look to the future. Throughout the day, summit attendees will have opportunities to:

  • engage in sector specific breakout sessions (choose when you register),
  • network with others from around Michigan that work in an array of areas in good food,
  • hear stories about successful collaborations and networks that are working together to increase food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable,
  • advance good food for all as we work towards the Michigan Good Food Charter goals for 2020, and
  • view complex food systems issues through an equity lens.

2014 Michigan Good Food Summit

We hope you will join us!


Detroit Community Markets in High Gear

Twelve Detroit Community Markets, from the eastside to the North End, Corktown to Midtown, and southwest to northwest Detroit, are part of this year’s collection of locales where neighborhood residents can purchase locally grown produce and other locally produced items.

The Detroit Community Markets program is supported by the Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative.

Islandview DCM copy

Islandview Farmers Market

And the community loves them. Many are open into the evening hours, so when people are heading home from work they have a place to shop other than the grocery store. Other residents like the fact that they can walk to the markets. Markets often have entertainment, food trucks, cooking demos, youth programming, or other activities that help draw individuals and families to their weekly market day.

Another attractive element is the Detroit Eastern Market Farm Stand program. Started in 2006, the farm stand visits many of the community markets weekly, selling additional items like locally produced eggs, cheese and butter, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, bought directly from area farmers, like Tim Campbell or Ruhlig Farms. Value added offerings in the farm stand include Slow Jams, peanut butter from Greenhouse, Zen Center kale chips and pumpkin seeds, cheese from Oliver Farms, High 5 healthy seasoning mix, and Wild Detroit Honey.

Oakland Avenue Community Market

Oakland Avenue Community Market

Sixteen fellows are hired to run the farm stand, and they visit five of the Detroit Community Markets each week along with four other community sites and 13 corporate and healthcare sites.

Many of the Detroit Community Markets, like Oakland Avenue Farmers Market and Islandview Farmers Market, have their own gardens. Others connect to local growers through The Greening of Detroit and the Garden Resource Program.

Each market is unique in terms of location, popularity and size

Oakland Avenue Farmers Market in the North End is one of the smallest markets, but it has weekly regulars who appreciate purchasing freshly picked produce grown right in the neighborhood. Others driving up the avenue, stop by to choose from the offerings.

CHASS Mercado, located at a healthcare center, is a larger market, attracting a lively, vibrant crowd of patients coming and going from the center, along with neighborhood residents. Local food trucks are part of market day too. CHASS Mercado consumers use a variety of payment methods, from Fresh Prescription (vouchers given by doctors for $10 for fruit/vegetable purchases) and Double Up Food Bucks, which doubles shoppers’ value spent on fruits and vegetables.

Earthworks Community Seed Distrbution Day

Earthworks Community Seed Distrbution Day

Meldrum Fresh Market is unique in that it only sells certified organic items, grown on the adjacent land at EarthWorks Urban Farm.

Most markets operate through early to late October, depending on the weather. They accept cash and often other payment methods, such as Bridge Cards, Double Up Food Bucks, Project FRESH, and Senior Market FRESH.


Here is a list of the Detroit Community Markets. Visit one before the season ends!

Brightmoor Farmers Market & Artisans Market

22375 Fenkell St.

Fridays, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

CHASS Mercado

5635 West Fort Street

Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Corktown Farmers Market

1235 Michigan Avenue

Thursdays, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays

Russell Street (between Mack Ave. and Gratiot)

Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 pm.

D-town Farm Stand

14027 West Outer Drive

Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. – noon; Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – noon

Islandview Farmers Market

7200 Mack Ave.

Wednesdays, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Meldrum Fresh Market

1264 Meldrum

Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Northwest Detroit Farmers Market

18445 Scarsdale St.

Thursdays, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Oakland Avenue Farmers Market

9352 Oakland Ave.

Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sowing Seeds Growing Futures Farmers Market

18900 Joy Road

Tuesdays, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Wayne State University Farmers Market

5401 Cass Ave.

Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.




Summer Fun & Fitness: Active Living Mini-Grants Announced

The Active Living Detroit Mini-Grant Program provides small grants ($500 to $1,000) to organizations that promote activity friendly environments throughout Detroit. It strives to support a range of projects that are geographically distributed throughout the city – all of which promote physical activity and environments that support active living.

TF2 Pic 3 copyThe program is jointly sponsored by Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative and Healthy Environments Partnership.

This year, a total of $13,000 in grants were awarded to the following 16 projects:


I Feel Movement will offer a meditation and gardening summer program for grandparents and their grandchildren. (JODA Jewels Consulting)

Opening Day for Neighborhood Way of the Grandmont Rosedale Greenway will promote destination points along the Grandmont Rosedale Greenway. (Grandmont Rosedale Development)


Kids in the Park: Explore, Experience, Achieve will encourage wellness through bicycling, community engagement, gardening, and healthy eating. (Eight Mile Community Organization)Learning healthy eating- Leland 2015


Nolan Fierce Gardeners will engage middle school students in gardening and promote entrepreneurship by selling student-grown produce at Eastern Market. (BE Culturally Exposed)

Food, Fitness and Photography will engage youth in gardening, healthy food education, and exercise; a photography mural will be created at the end of the program. (Youth Community Agency)


BikeVON Bicycle Rodeo will offer an interactive beginner cycling program for adults and children ages five and up. (BikeVON)

Chandler Park Ninja Warrior will engage youth in obstacle course training as a form of fun exercise. (Chandler Park Healthy Neighborhood Strategy)

HEALTHY-PIC Sports Lending Library will offer basic equipment (for tennis, basketball, football, baseball, and soccer) to Villages at Parkside youth to take advantage of new and existing amenities in Chandler Park. HEALTHY-PIC stands for Helping to Encourage Activities by Lending Things to Healthy Youth Play In Chandler Park. (Friends of Parkside)

Free Riders Community Park will offer a gardening program that allows senior citizens an accessible location to grow healthy food and exercise. (Free Riders Community & Youth Outreach)


Michigan Women’s Wellness Workshop will encourage healthier lifestyles through exercise and meditation. (Fit in 8 Program)


Vacant Lot Habitat will transform a vacant lot into a natural wildlife habitat for birds, bats, and butterflies and include the construction and installation of a birdhouse. (Urban Neighborhood Initiatives)

Tiny Tigers Karate Summer Program will offer a summer karate program for children ages four to six years. (Physical Fitness with Robert)

MCSDA Break Life will engage youth in physical activity through break dancing. (Motor City Street Dance Academy-MCSDA)


Walk [Wayne State] Expansion will install signage around the Wayne State University campus to encourage walking and biking as forms of healthy transportation. (WSU Office of Economic Development)

Kids Talk CAC Annual Community Picnic will promote nutrition among youth and wrap up with a community celebration. (Kids TALK Children’s Advocacy Center)

Detroit Horseback Riding Camp will engage youth in learning about riding and caring for horses. (Detroit Horse Power)

The grantees have until December 1 to implement their projects. DFFC will be showcasing some of these programs and projects throughout the summer and fall.


Newest DFFC Work Group Focuses on Health Care Sector

Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative is pleased to announce the official formation of the DFFC’s newest work group, the Health Care Work Group. The group’s goal is to promote a healthier Detroit through working at the intersection of healthy food and health care – bringing good food to the frontline of health care.IMG_7111-320x213

Work group members come from a variety of sectors within health care and include representatives from…

American Indian Health & Family Services

Authority Health

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Detroit Food Policy Council

City of Detroit Health Department

Ecology Center

Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan

Health Alliance Plan

Henry Ford Health System

JFM Consulting, Inc.

MSU Extension

The Health Care Work Group will work to improve the health and well-being of Detroiters and foster innovative relationships to build a healthy, sustainable food system. The work group meets quarterly and will support new ways to conjoin good food and health care.

IMG_6390-293x440Members of our group have met for 18 months prior to officially becoming a DFFC work group last winter. During that time, it has supported the expansion and evaluation of projects like Fresh Prescription, a fruit and vegetable prescription program that engages health care, food access and nutrition education partners in growing a healthier community. The 2016 Fresh Prescription program will begin in June.

Plenty of Detroit Victories to Celebrate During National Bike Month

The city of Detroit has faced many major financial challenges after year after year of downsizing prior to its bankruptcy. Detroit simply could not provide the same level of service that other cities could. Parks were underfunded and many not maintained. Biking was often seen as a dispensable recreational activity, especially when faced with issues of crime, street lighting, blight, a declining population, and more.

But many in the community and philanthropy thought differently – and brought the city along.

CJ Millender_IMG_9607_1024 copyBicycling and trails were a means for economic development, inexpensive transportation, quality of life, and improved health. Through many years of working collaboratively with the city, much has been achieved. Trails such as the Conner Creek Greenway, Dequindre Cut, Detroit RiverWalk, and Southwest Detroit Greenlink were constructed. Not only did Detroiters embrace these biking options, they demanded more.

These trails along with Detroit’s flat terrain, moderate weather, lightly-travelled and overly-wide streets fostered a bicycle culture not seen in anywhere else in America: neighborhood social bike clubs that are largely African-American and embrace DIY customized bikes with music and lighting. Most of these clubs shun the stereotypical cyclist Lycra for regular clothes with club patches and more, not unlike WeAreDetroit-bikemotorcycle club colors. Each of the over thirty-some clubs have their own priorities. Some require club members to do community work often focused on getting more kids get on bicycles. Others are more about the fun and social aspects while lifting up better health.

These clubs embrace riding together, welcome diversity, and have a very low barrier to entry.

Interestingly enough, this Detroit club culture more closely mirrors that of the Golden Era of Bicycling (1890s) rather than the typical U.S. or Metro Detroit suburban club culture.

Slow Roll is another phenomenon that has helped define Detroit bicycle culture. This modest bike ride has grown from a handful of people to become one of the largest weekly bike rides in the world – and certainly one of the most diverse.

Where do we go next?

Bankruptcy has allowed Detroit to offer greater services. Detroit parks have certainly benefitted from this as has the planning department.

New Planning Director Maurice Cox is rebuilding the department, hiring staff, and taking a much more active role within the city. This goes for biking too. Cox rides his bike to work every day and is a strong supporter for better and safer cycling options for all Detroiters.

The Planning Department, Public Works, consultants from other U.S. cities, the Detroit Greenways Coalition along with the clubs, Slow Roll, and others have collectively convinced the Mayor that building a healthier, more bike-able (and walkable!) city is a competitive advantage for Detroit. It can bring in greater economic development and more residents, with the latter being the Mayor’s self-prescribed metric for evaluating his job performance.

Courtesy of Detroit Greenways Coalition

Photo courtesy of Detroit Greenways Coalition

Just last month the Mayor kicked off a two-day workshop on reimagining all of East Jefferson and Grand River Avenues. He said we need to take advantage of our wide, lightly-traveled streets; make them more walkable, bike-able while improving transit. “We can’t out-suburb the suburbs,” he added but we create a great urban environment. He said Detroit could even experiment a bit as NYC did with converting street space to public plazas.

Just weeks later, the extension to the Dequindre Cut was officially opened. Again, the Mayor touted walking, biking and trails, and how they can reconnect this city. He also touted the recently submitted US DOT TIGER grant request ($18.8 million) to build over 30 miles of rail-trails and protected bike lanes as part of the Inner Circle Greenway. This grant included an emphasis on making walking and biking connections across freeways, many of which were intentionally routed through and divided communities of color.

Detroit bike culture is growing exponentially along with the demand for more. Understandably in the beginning our expectations were tempered with the city’s many challenges. Those expectations have been shattered.Deq Cut bike taxi

In a meeting of Detroit bicycle stakeholders held earlier this year, Cox proclaimed of his tenure, “It is a stated fact that Detroit will be America’s most bike friendly city.” There wasn’t much reaction, which was likely due to incredulity rather than indifference. Is the city seriously on board with this?

Yes, it’s serious.