As I think about what March brings, I think of spring, and new beginnings. This is synergistic with Common Ground Food Coop in so many respects.
My first few months serving on the board have been a productive fresh start for me with deepening my commitment to healthy living and aiming to make the world a better place, starting in my community. It has also been inspiring in that I’ve learned so much more about our wonderful Co-op. The dedication and work pouring out from staff, owners, and the community is so readily apparent! Whether tabling at the store, mingling at events, teaching classes, attending classes, and chairing a Co-op Vision Group, I am constantly impressed by the many facets that make up Common Ground. Each part requires flexibility, creativity, a concern for our community, and a desire for a kinder, more compassionate world.
When I think about the Co-op’s Ends, several aspects jump out at me. Our first End, “The Co-op is the center of a vibrant, inclusive community” is definitely evident through our Round Up program, our Food for All program, our variety of classes, the social opportunities provided, and the artists who are showcased on a monthly basis.The second End, “The Cooperative movement is strengthened,” is visible through our growing numbers of owners, and teachers, our partnerships with local farmers and artisans, and the new staff members attracted to working at Common Ground, including our relatively new GM, Gary.“The Co-op serves as an educational resource on food issues”, our third End, is, in my opinion, a strong point of Common Ground. Not only can one take classes to learn more about food, but food items are labeled throughout the store to meet specific dietary needs, to indicate local farms and artisans by name, to provide information on bee-friendly products, or to highlight other valuable information. What impresses me the most is that the Co-op is inclusive of a variety of dietary needs and beliefs; one specific road to a healthy lifestyle is not valued more than another. Lastly, the success of our fourth End, “Our local food system is equitable, robust and environmentally sound” is growing every year! I am constantly impressed by our relationships with local businesses, our support for local growers and makers, and our commitment to making basic healthy food affordable to all.
I am thankful for my new start in this community in a way I believe has an impact. I ask you, what new start will you incorporate into your life this spring? Maybe you’ll sign up for one of the educational classes, or buy more local vegetables and meats, or perhaps you’ll use less plastic and recycle more! I hope you can include the Co-op with a new beginning, because I am sure it will have lasting effects!
That was a word from Board Member Evelyne Tardy.