Last month, the Co-op hosted a field trip from our friends at the Lerner Day School!
Working in and with our community is as much a part of the Co-op’s values as selling quality local organic produce. One way we love to interface with the community is by giving tours of our store – hosting visits for local schools, businesses, and out-of-town guests allows us to have more in depth conversations about the co-op for those who want to know more.
One of our favorite tour groups is the local Lerner School! For the past 2 years, Ms. Hayes has brought her class to learn about grocery stores and to collect and purchase items to stock their school’s food pantry. We had our second tour with the Lerner school students last month, and it was a joy to watch the students shop our shelves for non-perishable goods to donate.
For their field trip to the Co-op, the Lerner School paired up one 5th grader with one 1st grader as “Reading Buddies”, who shopped the store together during their tour. The students learned about perishable versus non-perishable goods and how to grocery shop on a budget of $20, all while purchasing groceries meant for the school food pantry. The students shopped the co-op for their non-perishable purchases and made a polite competition to see who could get the least amount of change back. Each group of shoppers had a check list for basic food stuffs like proteins, canned fruits and veggies, and – if their budgets allowed – a few inexpensive sweets (with no added dyes or artificial flavors), all to be donated.
While on the tour, students also got to meet some of our team members and learn about the co-op’s values, like increasing access to quality and nutritious food, or purchasing from local producers. The kids loved seeing pictures of local farmers around the Co-op, and some were surprised to realize that those farmers actually grow some of the food in our store! Others mentioned that they are gardeners themselves. Everyone learned something new about how various products are produced and make their way to our store.
After a complete tour of the store, the class ended with a quick behind the scenes visit to the back dock to see our produce associate Jackpot engage our dock’s lift system. This was also a great time to show the students all our compost bins, which help us turn our food waste into, as one student put it, “good dirt”.
We are always happy to have local school groups, community partners, and businesses come tour our co-op! If you or your affiliated group are interested in a tour, please contact Raafe@durham.coop.