A Community Outreach Update

Happy Summer DCM, and what a beautiful summer season it shaping up to be. As temperatures are rising, so is the productivity and general hustle and bustle of your everyday local Co-op market. We are currently gearing up for not just summer, but the turn of the seasons as we approach closer to our busiest time of the year, but let me not get ahead of myself, or time.

This month we have not let up in providing community support either. We are happy to introduce a new organization to the mix that we have been working with, Grow To Life.

Grow to Life is an organization of long-term volunteers based out of Chapel Hill. Yes, we are reaching down 15/501 to provide help to our community, but community is anyone in need of food.

Grow to Life, in partnership with the Chapel Hill Parks and Rec Association, has been in operations since 2014. Focusing on families in need of emergency food and supplies, Grow to Life serves families through large one-day drive-through donations.

With the help of many devoted volunteers and volunteering families, Grow to Life can focus on single donation events with a focus on fresh foods.  Fortunately for us we were able to provide a large donation of Homeland Creamery milk, Counter Culture Coffee, and Pacha soap.

As well, we have continued to work with the Food Bank of Eastern and Central Carolina and the Community Empowerment Fund. We are happy because these organizations help us feed the community with fresh produce or perishable food that we are happy to not dispose of, especially when it can feed families in need.

Speaking of environmentalism, we are happy to see how lively and efficient our rain garden has been this year. Any owners who have stopped admired the milkweed and their ever-present residents, the monarch caterpillars, I am sure will be ecstatic to see a huge flock of butterflies before summer is out, so please be ready.

If you haven’t grabbed a meal from our hot bar and stopped to have lunch in our Rain Garden, consider it soon, while the Black-Eyed Susan’s are still proud and showey.

Which reminds me, many visitors to the Co-op have commented on our impressive crimson tree at the North East end of our garden. This magnificent tree is known as a Royal Purple Smoke Bush. Please come and take your photo with her, she has been a star of many Co-op selflies this summer already.  Trust that she makes an elegant backdrop for any digital memory.

The bees aren’t the only buzz around the Co-op. We are happy to have tabling return to the store. Our first vendor, Seal the Seasons, whom you may recognize from the freezers on Isle #4, was here this past weekend.

They are a local fresh frozen fruit company which we were happy to host in store as they educated our shoppers on their amazing locally fresh frozen fruits and shared about some late berry picking activities on local farms. Please be advised as we move further away from the Governors end to pandemic mandates we will continue to take precautions and people’s safety seriously. Tabling will continue to happen outside and no samples will be offered in the store at this time.

As well, please be on the lookout for a young group of high-schoolers who will be tabling next week. General Services is a youth led organization with a mission to organize grade school students in support of charities and local non-profits.

General Services will be signing up interested local youth for the “Read-a-thon” in support of the Book Harvest. We are happy to be providing them space to engage young children on the importance of giving back as well as emphasizing the fun of reading, and proudly sponsoring the “Read-a-thon’  with in-kind donations of prizes for voracious readers.

The Co-op is happy to be focusing on literacy and giving back this summer. If you have some young readers who may still be at that listening age, our Pride & Pours event in honor of international LGBTQ Pride Month will happen on Saturday, June 26th at 11am-1pm.

We are happy to feature local drag artist Stormie Daie, member of Durham’s foremost local drag family the House of Coxx. While Ms. Daie is reading to children, we will have a selection of beverages being sampled by Advintage Distributing.

Also, proceeds for every bottle and glass sold of Winc Cherries and Rainbows will be donated to an LGBTQ organization. Please help us support the LGBTQ community and enjoy the gift of a Drag Queen reading at the Co-op.

Lastly, don’t forget “What’s the Deal with the Board” will continue this Friday at 6pm outside the co-op, in person.  We want owners to take this time to engage with board members and learn more about the cooperative side of our market and how to make a difference not just with your money, but with your whole self.

Finally, the Co-op would like to recognize the memorial day of Juneteenth, this Friday June 19th 2021.

Juneteenth, or “June Nineteenth”, is both a holiday in recognition of the enslavement of Black peoples in America and a celebration of the freeing of enslaved Black peoples after the Civil War.

Started in Galveston, Texas this “holiday” recognizes the prolonged enslavement of Black peoples in Texas that weren’t freed until 1865. Though the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 would be the official end of slavery for all states in the confederate and union, it did not affect rebel union-held states or states further away from union control.

Texas was not a confederate state, as it was newer to the union, but at the end of the war Texas became a slavery safe haven for both established slave owners living in the state and fleeing plantation owners from states already visited by union forces. Texas who had experienced little to no union military presence before 1863, which would have allowed for whites to keep their slaves until 1865 when Union troops came to enforce the 13th amendment.

Newly freed Black peoples in Galvenston, Texas celebrated “Jubilee Day” the year following on June Nineteenth, or “Juneteenth”, a colloquialism any marketing group would pay for. Juneteenth is now a time for Black Americans to celebrate the perseverance of the Black spirit and the freedom that Black lives have always fought to obtain and protect. We at the Co-op would like to recognize the holiday by highlighting our Black-owned businesses, but also by reminding our entire community that Black lives matter and the sacredness of remembering the history of not just Black Americans, but the true histories of the start of our nation, no matter how bitter.

Please check out the Black-owned businesses, products, and farms that will be highlighted in store as well as read about the history of Co-ops and social justice in the south on our website.