Press release from Homegrown Babies:
What do sweet potatoes and doulas have to do with one another? Turns out, a whole lot! Owner of Homegrown Babies and the Homegrown Families Health and Education Center, Chama Woydak is a birth doula, birth doula trainer and farmer. For the past eight years she has hosted a Sweet Potato Cooking Contest to honor the bounty of the harvest from her farm and the changing seasons while simultaneously raising money for a good cause! Every year, the entry fees for tasting and judging the sweet and savory entries goes to a different local organization that is making positive change in Buncombe County.
This year the proceeds will benefit Sistas Caring 4 Sistas – Doulas for Social Justice.
In 2016, Homegrown Babies was honored to collaborate with MAHEC and Buncombe Upstream: The Community Centered Health Home, which is creating change in our Western North Carolina in community to address the fact that black babies are 3.1 times more likely to die in infancy than white babies in Buncombe County.
Driven by the leadership of the amazing women in the Pisgah View and Hillcrest Public Housing Communities, Homegrown Babies was invited to train and mentor black and African-American women to become birth doulas. Through building their skills as community leaders and birth doulas, these women are able to advocate for and strengthen their communities with the goal of lowering the infant mortality rates in Buncombe County.
This work invests equity into these communities and allows these women to earn a living wage, hone skills to benefit and advocate for members of their community, cross the color line here in Asheville, and support women of diverse backgrounds throughout their pregnancy and birth and postpartum journeys.
The 8th Annual Sweet Potato Cooking Contest will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 4-8 p.m. and is open to the public. Participants are encouraged to enter a dish with the main ingredient of sweet potatoes. There are both sweet and savory categories and there is no charge to enter a dish but each taste taster must pay a $10 tasting/judging fee. Dishes must be entered by 5 p.m., and tasting/judging will begin promptly at 5:10 p.m. There are amazing prizes and cash for the winners. For complete details and additional information see the Facebook page for the event: www.facebook.com/events/113879752629147/.
Chama Woydak has been supporting expecting families in Buncombe County as a birth doula and childbirth educator since 1999. In 2016 she opened Homegrown Families Health and Education center, which houses Homegrown Babies. Homegrown Families offers a full spectrum of integrative health care providers, classes and support groups to support families and individuals throughout their lives including prenatally, postpartum and as parents.