A Community Outreach Update

Hello  Co-op Community,

I am your Community Outreach Coordinator, Raafe, here with another Co-op community outreach update.

Since the last update we have added a new organizations to our regular donation giving’s. We are happy to be providing canned foods and baking goods to the Central and Eastern NC Food Bank.

The Central and Eastern Food Bank of NC, or CENC, services 40 counties in North Carolina and as of 2020 celebrated their 40th anniversary serving our great Carolina community.

As an affiliate member of Feeding America, the nation’s top domestic hunger relief charity, CENC is ranked number 15 nationally amongst hunger relief programs, and number one in North Carolina.

We haven’t been doing this work alone, in fact the Food Bank’s Middle Mile program has picked up and delivered all the food donations we have made.

The Middle Mile program is a network of volunteers who ferry food from participating restaurants, grocery stores, and other food businesses. With their help we are battling not only hunger, but also food waste.  We are thankful for each volunteer because thanks to these volunteers we have donated 555 cans of veggies.

As well, we have continued to provide donations to the Community Empowerment Fund. We are always happy to do, but now more than ever.

CEF is currently working alongside the city and other organizations like El Centro and the CAARE Healing Center to provide aid with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. We will share the flyer (in Spanish and English) and want our community to know the great work organizations like CEF are doing.

Lastly, I attended the opening of a new community book store. Rofhiwa Books, is an African American book store and café located in East Durham, in the former location of the East Durham Pie Co. The grand opening was this past Saturday, and it was the talk of Durham.

The shelves were lined with amazing titles on subjects like afro-futurism, non fiction, and poetry. Some local authors like Alexis Pauline Gumbs were well represented and books on local heroes like Pauli Murray were also in good numbers. There was also an entire section children’s books focused on Black youth throughout the diasporas.

If that wasn’t enough the smell of coffee uplifted the lovely vibrant décor that featured handmade tables with maps of the Hayti district, pre the 147 HWY construction that broke up the former prosperous Black neighborhood.

And if the smells of amazing coffee beverages or the pastry case filled with local baked goods from Asian baker “Eat Bad Oven” weren’t enough, another literacy and community focused organization Saddle Up and Read had their four legged ambassador, a mini horse named “ManMan”, out to greet anyone with a free hand for scratches.

Saddle Up and Read is a literacy non-profit working to encourage all children, but specifically BIPOC children, to read. Saddle Up and Read is black woman-lead and operates out of  a 6th generation black horse farm in Wendell, NC .

Truly this is fitting addition to the Old East Durham neighborhood and we are happy to have been at the opening  and so excited to see our Durham community grow and prosper.

Raafe Purnsley
Community Outreach Coordinator
Durham Co-op Market