By Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) | Originally published on July 30, 2018 by IMAN
Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) continues to #FightFearBuildPower with several critical initiatives related to our Food Ecosystem work. Organizers and leaders have called on communities to “fight back with food” through our Corner Store Campaign, Fresh Beats & Eats Farmers Market and Backyard Garden. Food plays a critical role in our collective health and wellness, and IMAN is doubling down on both its support of existing food providers, as well as opening up additional outlets for residents to access nutritious goods.
Following a successful Refresh the Hood series during Ramadan, Corner Store Campaign organizers and leaders have advanced their outreach into new stores while deepening relationships with those already in IMAN’s network.
Fresh Beats & Eats Farmers Market returned in July, opening up a weekly space for residents to enjoy locally grown, organic produce, inspiring artistic expression and relaxing gatherings with their neighbors for the fourth consecutive year. Led by new Food Ecosystems Coordinator Eric Rodriguez, the market has added new features like a petting zoo and regular giveaways of groceries and personal care products. Fresh Beats & Eats will run through October 27, rain or shine.
Tucked in the back of one of IMAN’s properties, the Backyard Garden is flourishing. Managed by longtime leader Olisaemeka Okakpu, the garden has served as an outdoor classroom and source of fresh produce for other Food Ecosystems leaders interested in the art of urban farming. Several harvests from the garden have been delivered to the Fresh Beats & Eats Farmers Market to be distributed as samples. A local chef also conducted a live cooking demonstration with vegetables grown in the Backyard Garden, showing market-goers that they too can own their food “from seed to plate.”
There are many ways to support IMAN’s Food Ecosystems work, like purchasing local foods from Fresh Beats & Eats Farmers Market, or engaging one of our partner corner stores. To get involved as an organizer or leader, contact Corner Store Campaign Manager Sara Hamdan or Food Ecosystems Coordinator Eric Rodriguez.
The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) is a community organization that fosters health, wellness and healing in the inner-city by organizing for social change, cultivating the arts, and operating a holistic health center. IMAN incorporated as a nonprofit in 1997 through the drive of people directly affected by and deeply invested in social issues affecting communities of color living on Chicago’s South Side. Since that time, IMAN has steadily grown and, in 2016, opened a second office in Atlanta to continue mobilizing a cross-section of people committed to this mission. This post was originally published by IMAN.