Neighbors Helping Neighbors - Blog Post by Stacy Canterbury, SFC Outreach Coordinator and Owner #704
Sticker given as a thank-you gift to one of our SFC volunteers at the Silverton Farmers Market
My favorite co-op principle is #7: Concern for the Community. One of the best reasons to start a co-op is that it can become a business whose bottom line benefits everyone and where profitability isn’t exclusively defined by income. Silverton Food Co-op is already making this principle a reality. Our community has been hard hit by the twin crises of COVID-19 and business closures, so right from the start our SFC volunteers stepped up to help. Here are some recent highlights from this effort:
In March, our Outreach Coordinator began hearing about elders and immunocompromised folks who could no longer access groceries and household supplies safely. Along with other long-time volunteers, she started organizing free pickup and delivery services for this vulnerable group. Later that month, one of our newest members Vivienne Frankel, along with other community members began “Feeding Silverton’s Essential Workers”. The Silverton area donated over $7600 to buy food from local restaurants and businesses which helped keep them afloat during the shutdown. Then meals, snacks, vouchers, and donations were delivered by SFC members and other community volunteers to say “thank you” to those hardworking people who continue to make enormous efforts to keep us healthy, educated, and safe. Meals and snacks went to Silverton Hospital staff, first responders, school district employees, city staff, and others lifting everyone’s spirits.
As a healthcare professional, Kalia Miller knew what a shortage of face masks could mean for Silverton and the surrounding area. And as an SFC Board Member, she embodies our community mindedness. So after long days at work, she began her second shift as a mask maker, giving her hand work away for the benefit of all. Other Silverton Food Co-op members donated fabric and elastic, making this a true community effort.
When area grocery stores began experiencing supply disruptions, we started getting requests on social media for a list of area Farmers and Food Producers that sold directly to the public. Our Board President and Outreach Coordinator—along with our fabulous new Marketing Team—greatly expanded and edited our webpage directory, linking it to our public “storefront” and owner’s Facebook pages. The Marketing Team also began a new social media story series, called “Spotlights”. These are free ads showcasing local farmers and businesses, connecting our membership and the whole community with healthy, local foods.
These are just a few of the ways that Silverton Food Co-op is supporting our communities through this moment. We want to continue our growth as a trusted community business. Do you know of other ways that SFC can help? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions!