We're Not Done: Solidarity with Standing Rock

From sacredstonecamp.org

From sacredstonecamp.org

As we wrap up our November drive for the camps at Standing Rock, things are escalating in North Dakota. The Governor has called for the mandatory evacuation of the camp on December 5th.  While the Army Corps of Engineers has stated that they will not forcibly remove anyone from the camp, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said,

“This state executive order is a menacing action meant to cause fear, and is a blatant attempt by the state and local officials to usurp and circumvent federal authority....
If the true concern is for public safety then the Governor should clear the blockade and the county law enforcement should cease all use of flash grenades, high-pressure water cannons in freezing temperatures, dog kennels for temporary human jails, and any harmful weaponry against human beings … The State has since clarified that they won’t be deploying law enforcement to forcibly remove campers, but we are wary that this executive order will enable further human rights violations.”

I worry, too, about how the situation at Standing Rock might escalate along with tensions around the camps and the country. 

It's easy to feel powerless in situations like this. Oregon is far from North Dakota, and while we've been sending money and supplies since September, we're faced with the reality that our goods and our dollars might not be enough. 

Now more than ever, we will do what we can. That means donating the almost $5000 that we've raised at the register in November to the legal defense and medic funds, and continuing to work with people heading to Standing Rock to get the water protectors food and supplies. We've also decided to continue collecting donations, goods, and supplies at the register.

That also means making phone calls to the following folks, urging them to object to the executive order, the restriction of the water protectors to a "free speech zone," and ultimately to rescind the permits of the Dakota Access Pipeline. We can't all go to North Dakota, but there is plenty of action that we can take in Portland and even at home. 

Calling Officials for Standing Rock

Every day of December has been declared a national day of action by organizers at Standing Rock and around the country. We can also show solidarity by calling officials during this time in particular (and taking other action as you are able!). Calling in numbers may get their attention - call once, call daily, share with a friend, host a calling party, or what you can!

Phone Numbers

  • White House: (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414
  • White House Situation Room: (202) 456-9431 
  • Army Corps of Engineers: (202) 761-8700
  • National Guard ND: (701) 333-2000 
  • ND Governor Jack Dalrymple: (701) 328-2200 
  • Morton County Sheriff's Dept: (701) 667-3330
  • Morton County Sheriff's Office: (701) 328-8118 

Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline owner: 

  • Lee Hanse, Executive Vice President: (210) 403-6455
  • Glenn Emery, Vice President: (210) 403-6762 
  • Michael (Cliff) Waters, Lead Analyst: (713) 989-2404

Sample Script for Government Offices & Officials

"My name is _______, and I am calling to object to the Army Corps of Engineers' directive to evacuate Standing Rock protesters to 'free speech zones'. I ask [name of organization or official] not to enforce this directive, to work towards rescinding all permits, and deny the easement to cross the Missouri River just north of the Reservation and straight through treaty lands."

Sample Script for Sheriff's Offices

"My name is _______, and I am calling to object to the Army Corps of Engineers' directive to evacuate Standing Rock protesters to 'free speech zones'. I ask [name of sheriff or town/county] not to enforce this directive, to allow water protesters to exercise their right to peaceful assembly/protest, and to immediately stop attacking water protectors with tear gas, water cannons, hoses, or other violent means, and refrain from
arresting/interfering with peaceful demonstrators."

Thank you to Kathleen Rose for the use of these scripts. 

Background & Additional Information

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is owned by Energy Transfer Partners, based in Houston, Texas. The pipeline would transport 450,000 barrels of fracked crude oil per day from the Bakken fields in North Dakota to Illinois. 

The builders of the pipeline did not consult tribes or produce an environmental impact statement. The proposed route crosses the confluence of the Missouri River and the Cannon Ball River, an area of cultural and spiritual significance for area tribes. It also poses huge environmental risks. DAPL would cross over the Ogallala Aquifer (one of the largest aquifers in the world) and under the Missouri River twice (the longest river in the United States). The possible contamination of these water sources from a pipeline leak makes the Dakota Access pipeline a national threat. 

Craft Fair Applications Are Now Available!

craft fair call for vendors.jpg

Applications are due Monday November 21st! 

We're excited to be hosting the Holiday Craft Fair again this year on Wednesday, December 7th from 2-7pm in the Community Room. 

Vendor spaces are available in two sizes:  Large (~6ft x 6ft) for $30 or Small (~ 3ft x 6ft.) for $15. Tables are not provided, but chairs are available.  You will be required to stay within your allotted space.   

Spaces are limited.  For the most part, vendor applicants are accepted on a first-applied, first-placed basis.  However, we like to provide the community with variety at the Fair, and our Craft Fair Coordinator will have the final say on which vendors participate.

How to Apply

  1. Review the Reminders, Rules, & Guidelines below before filling out the application. Please be sure you feel confident you can fulfill them before applying.
  2. Complete the application below, or pick one up in the store. Payment needs to be included to secure your application. Checks are preferred and can be made out to People’s Food Co-op. You can mail them to: 

People's Food Co-op

attn: Sofie Sherman-Burton

3029 SE 21st Ave

Portland, OR 97202

If you are selected as a vendor, Sofie, the Craft Fair Coordinator, will contact you no later than Friday November 25th to discuss next steps and placement.

If all spaces are filled, you will be placed on a Wait List. In the event there is a cancellation, we will call vendors on the Wait List.

Reminders, Rules, & Guidelines

The fair begins at 2pm, Wednesday, December 7th, and ends at 7pm. 

All vendors are expected to participate for the entire 5 hours.

SET-UP, TEAR-DOWN, & CLEAN-UP

  • You can begin setting up your booth at 12pm, but no earlier.
  • Set-up must be completed no later than 1:45pm.
  • Tables are not provided, but chairs are available.
  • Tear-down and clean-up should be completed no later than 8:30pm.

TRANSACTIONS WITH PATRONS

People’s does not provide change for artists or craft vendors. Each vendor is responsible for bringing enough cash to complete transactions with your patrons.

We strongly, strongly encourage vendors to:

  • provide patrons with receipts,
  •  provide patrons with business cards or some other format communicating your contact information (this can be on the receipt).

CANCELLATIONS

  • Should you need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible by emailing sofie@peoples.coop.
  • People’s Food Co-op will retain booth fees for cancellations occurring less than 24 hours before the event.
  • Vendors on the waitlist will be notified should cancellations occur.

EXPECTED BEHAVIOR: People’s Safer Space Policy

People’s Food Co-op strives to create a safer and accessible space that values everyone.  When present on Co-op property, each person is expected to respect all aspects of people’s identities including their ethnicity, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, religion, political affiliation, nationality, size, age, and ability. 

Physical or verbal abuse, sexual or any other form of harassment, theft, or damage of property is simply not tolerated.  Someone who is unable to meet these expectations will be asked to leave the property. 

If you feel that someone is in violation of this policy please talk to a staff member. 

Thanksgiving Baskets

All the baskets are called for, but you can still fill out the application to be placed on the waiting list. 

For those in our community that need support this November, People’s Food Co-op and some of our vendors have partnered to provide 80 free vegetarian food baskets. 

Basket pick up will be on Wednesday November 23rd from 4-7pm.

Only 80 food baskets are available. Baskets are limited to one per household.  After the 80 are spoken for, we will start a wait list. You will be notified by Thursday, Nov 17th if you will receive a basket.  Sign-ups are recorded in the order they arrive. 

Basket pick-up will be in our Community Room, located up a flight of stairs. There is an elevator available if you need it – just let a cashier know that you need to use it and they will help you.

Food baskets are designed to feed about 4 people and will likely include:

  • Organic produce: yams, potatoes, winter squash, yellow onions, garlic, greens, apples
  • Pumpkin Pie Fixings: 1 pie crust, 1 can pumpkin pie mix
  • $10 voucher for the People’s Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays 2-7pm
  • Other food items: 1 can cranberry jelly, Vegetable bullion cubes, 1 Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed Thin Sliced Loaf, Three Sisters Nixtamal Tortillas

Basket contents may change slightly. 

Big thanks to our generous vendors that donated! We couldn't do this without them. 

three_sisters_nixtamal.jpg
 
 

Introducing: Humans of Color Yoga!

About the class

This class has been thoughtfully created by humans of color for humans of color.  Our intention is to provide a safe space for those who identify as a person of color to come together to move, learn, talk, and create community with other humans like themselves. This will also be a gathering place for connecting and building communities of color. 

We hope to create support for each other and share our experiences of being in this world with one another.  This class will include an opening circle that provides time for each person to introduce themselves, mindful movement and breathing, and a look into the history and different branches of yoga.  We will also address issues that people of color are facing in our current social climate using yoga as platform for release and restructuring.

Humans of Color Yoga will start at People’s on Saturday October 8th, and then be held every other week in the Community Room.

From the instructor Ayomide Njo

When people think of yoga they usually think of the physical practice of yoga, or Hatha yoga, but there are actually six distinct branches of yoga in the Indian tradition. I have been practicing yoga in one form or another most of my life. As a movement instructor I have been studying body awareness and movement for 20 years, but only in the last 5 years have I enjoyed and felt truly centered in Hatha yoga. 

This was inspired by an encounter with an older woman of color who practiced yoga. This woman was beautiful, strong and centered in her body and I was inspired! I had never been exposed to an instructor of color except in yoga books, where they were primarily Indian men. When we talked I explained to her my disconnection to hatha yoga as practice. She then explained to me that there are many styles of hatha to choose from and that my exploration was part of the journey of finding a practice that was in harmony with my center. That moment changed my life.  Her presence showed me that anyone could be a yogi.

This is the kind of experience that I hope to share through Humans of Color Yoga at People’s. It is important for humans of color to be able to investigate what it means to be in their skin in a safe and supportive environment, and the aim of the class is to provide a place for them to do so. 

Ayomide Njo currently teaches dance at Portland Community College. You can also find her every Wednesday at The Co-op teaching Kaleidoscope community yoga. When not teaching movement she is busy raising a teen, creating art and bridging communities. 

October is Co-op Month!

What is Co-op Month?

Every year, we celebrate Co-op Month in October, as co-ops all around the country do. We offer incentives for folks to invest in their co-op share or to become a Member-Owner, decorate the store, host co-op related events in the Community Room, and take a minute to celebrate our Member-Owners, our store, and the somewhat miraculous thing we’ve built together.

And there are great reasons to invest! Employees at food co-ops make almost a dollar per hour more, on average, than at conventional grocers, and more get health insurance through their workplace. Co-ops work directly with more farmers and producers, and sell way more organic and local food – almost eight times as much as a percentage of sales. They also recycle more, and are more energy efficient. Plus, their owned by the people that use them, rather than individuals. We share in the wealth that we create, and create wealth beyond profits. 

This October in particular, as we nail down our long-term plan, the dollars that you invest in your Co-op go toward growing our store and the positive impact that it has in our community. So thanks for investing, shopping, and supporting – together, we own it! 

INVEST

Become a Member-Owner, or invest in your share! In October, there are a few extra incentives for your investment. 

$15: An Equal Exchange chocolate bar

$30: A limited edition People's mug + an Equal Exchange chocolate bar

$60: A Chinook Book + a People's mug + an Equal Exchange chocolate bar

Plus, every investment made during Co-op Month enters you to win an awesome gift basket from Equal Exchange, a worker-owned co-op!

SHOP

During Co-op Month, we're offering special sales to show appreciation for our Member-Owners and co-op community!

All Hard Cider is 10% off, all of October!

From Finnriver to Cider Riot, all hard cider is 10% off for all of October! Stock up on your favorite brands and flavors, or try all the others we have in stock! 

 

LEARN

Looking to learn more about the Co-op and connect with more with your co-op community? 

Pick up a Co-op Passport!

Portland's food co-ops - People's, Food Front, and Alberta - have teamed up to offer a special coupon to anyone that visits all three during Co-op Month! Pick up a passport at a register at any of the co-ops, and get it marked when you visit each one. When you've filled it out, enjoy $10 off of a purchase of $30 or more at the co-op of your choice! And relish in the feeling that you've shopped at all of these community institutions. 

People's Food Co-op Harvest Ale: In Stock Now!

It's back!  Our amazingly popular Harvest Ale returns to the Co-op, available while supplies last! 

We've teamed up again with Captured By Porches to bring you this pale ale, featuring ingredients entirely grown in Oregon.  Slightly hoppy, with a mild sweetness to round everything out, it's the perfect companion to watch the seasons change and celebrate the bounty of our harvest season.  Pick up a bottle for $4.99 at the Co-op, or stop by the People's Food Co-op Harvest Festival on September 14 to enjoy a freshly poured pint in our beer garden. 

This beer makes a perfect gift for friends and family, and a wonderful compliment for your own pallet!  Cheers!

Why Black Lives Matter

Why Black Lives Matter

By: Rebecca Jamieson, Substitute Staff

The woman standing across the cash register from me was starting to cry. As I had begun to ring up her groceries a moment earlier, our conversation had started in the usual way: “Hello, how are you?” But instead of responding to that question with the routine “Fine, thanks,” we had each told the truth: our hearts were hurting. This was the week that two more unarmed Black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, had been killed by police. This was not a week for “fine, thanks.” What had happened was not fine, and neither were we. In our brief conversation, the woman shared that she was terrified her two young sons would be in danger their whole lives, simply because they were Black. As tears filled both of our eyes, all I could do was ask her if she wanted a hug. She said yes.

Hugs are a good start, but they aren’t enough. The magnitude of the racism our country is grappling with is apparent to anyone who reads the news. Racially influenced, state-condoned shootings of innocent people continue, with no justice for the victims or their families. Unfortunately, these larger systems of oppression are the repercussions of the often-unconscious racial conditioning that we all receive as people living in the U.S., with its long history of genocide, slavery, and oppression. As a White person, I’ve come to realize over and over again that if I want real change, I have to work not just to heal racism on an institutionalized level, but on a very personal level as well. And that personal healing and unlearning of racial conditioning is a lifelong process.

Something I deeply value about working at People’s Co-op is our commitment to anti-oppression work and social justice. Two of our Ends statements directly address this, striving to be: “a safe, welcoming community where all are valued,” and “a passionate community working together for human rights and social justice.” People’s has been working to address issues of oppression in many different areas for a long time. In the last few years, we’ve been working even harder to address the systemic forms of oppression that affect our community, our store, our staff, and shoppers, whether they show up in obvious or more subtle ways. We’ve brought in speakers, held anti-oppression trainings for staff, and formed ongoing “caucus” groups that serve to educate staff around issues such as White and male privilege. Caucus groups also exist to support staff who deal with oppression on a daily basis, including groups for those who are women-identified and people of color.

The reason People’s has been working harder to address oppression is that we’ve seen how our own oppressive conditioning, if left unaddressed, creates an environment that is not “a place for all people” - another thing we strive for. Our increased effort to address how privilege and oppression affects us was largely spearheaded by People’s staff who face the most oppression, even though it is not their responsibility to educate those of us who have more privilege, or are less aware. Just like me, People’s still has room to grow in learning how to address these painful patterns. But this work can’t be done alone. We need each other - for learning, for healing, for support, for inspiration, for change.

In the spirit of learning from and supporting each other, and taking meaningful action in alignment with our Ends, People’s will be holding several events and actions coming up soon:

  • During the month of August, we’ll be holding a donation drive at the registers to support the Portland chapter of Black Lives Matter. Just tell your cashier you’d like to make a donation, or round up your purchase. More information about Black Lives Matter can be found here. This article is a good place to start if you are wondering why saying “All Lives Matter” is so upsetting to many who are working for racial justice.
  • People’s will host letter writing sessions in support of Campaign Zero to end police violence. The sessions will take place on Friday August 12th 5:30pm-7:30pm, and Sunday August 21st 3:30pm-5:30pm in our community room. Snacks will be served. Everyone is welcome.
  • People’s will be partnering with the Portland Underground Graduate School to offer a class in our Community Room called: Elegizing Black Lives. This class will explore how African American poets elegized victims of lynching and state violence, as well as celebrating acts of resistance. The class will run on Wednesdays August 10-31, from 6-8pm in the People’s Community Room. Space is limited. Read more and register here.
  • Starting in October, People’s will offer an ongoing yoga class for people of color. Details to come.
  • Also in October, People’s will start a White privilege discussion group. Details to come.
  • Black Lives Matter buttons are available for all shoppers at the registers!

Elections are here! But why vote?

Earlier this spring, I turned in my ballot for the Oregon Primary. My 17 year-old daughter (on the verge of being able to vote herself!) asked if I had ever missed the opportunity to vote.  No, I proudly responded... but I realized quickly that this answer only applies to state and national elections. When given the opportunity to vote for something like the Board of Directors at People’s, I am much less likely to vote.   Hmmm... feeling a little less proud now.

Yes, national and state elections are important, but People’s is also important on a local scale.  People’s provides our local food providers with a place to offer their goods; the neighborhood a human sized store, year-round farmer’s market and meeting space; and the community a chance to be not just a shopper, but also a Member-Owner.  Keeping People’s thriving is to keep many others thriving as well.  And a healthy, thriving People’s needs a healthy, thriving board.

Taking a few minutes to read about the candidates and casting a vote is a way each of us Member-Owners can show our appreciation for what People’s provides for us and our community.  It also might bring us one step closer to appreciating the employees and Hands-On-Owners who give tirelessly each month so the rest of us can have this gem of a grocery store in our neighborhood.  For me, I needed the question from my daughter to reset my attention between large-scale national politics and small-scale local efforts.  Each election is truly important in its own way, and by participating in both, I find myself feeling just a little more proud.

- Member-Owner Ellen Weeks

2015 Patronage Dividends are here!

2015 was a landmark year for People’s Food Co-op.  In 2014 we did not post a profit and so were unable to pay out patronage dividends.  Faced with significant competition and increasing costs all around, would we be able to turn the tide in 2015?   What did this mean for the long-term health and viability of our co-op?  Well, this past year our Collective Management was able to tighten belts, get creative, and end the year with positive net income and sales growth!  This has positioned us well for 2016 as we begin in earnest to craft our Long Term Plan.

With the recent release of our 2015 Annual Report, active Member-Owners also received a Patronage Dividend.  If you did not receive your Annual Report and Patronage Dividend - it is likely that we have the wrong address (click here to update your address).  There are a number of dividends at the co-op that were undeliverable, stop by and ask a cashier to see if yours is here. 

What is patronage?

Patronage is the amount of our store's net income that came from Member-Owner sales.  As a consumer-owned co-op, when the co-op makes a profit, we are required by law to pay out at least 20% of that patronage to Member-Owners; we can choose to pay out 100%.  This year, your Board of Directors has chosen to distribute 60% of 2015 patronage back to Member-Owners.  This is the highest percentage ever paid out since the beginning of the patronage system in 2007!  

Due to a modest amount of profit made in 2015, this equates to each household receiving about 0.83% of their 2015 total spending back.  When deciding if and how much patronage to pay out, the Board of Directors balances many factors.  This year we wish to celebrate our financial turnaround, distribute as much profit back to owners as is financially responsible, and recognize the increasing economic pressure many among us face.  We also wish to safeguard the long-term health of the co-op, keep the amount of profit in perspective and remain mindful of the challenges we are likely to face together in the coming years.  Retained patronage helps the co-op build collective wealth for use in years to come.  

Your dedication to People's and steadfast patronage of our store are the reasons we are here.  As Member-Owners of People's we share in both our successes and challenges - we are in this together and WE OWN IT!  

 

50% OFF ALL CHIPS

50% OFF ALL CHIPS

THIS SATURDAY & SUNDAY ONLY

MAY 21 & 22

No catch, no fine print,

just one screaming weekend deal. 

 

All the chips we have in the store will be 50% OFF their regular price. 

Stock up for all your upcoming summer barbecues and picnics. 

No special orders with sale price. 

We're open 8am -10pm at 3029 SE 21st Ave.

We Stand with Workers: Endorsing the Burgerville Workers Union

Foodservice workers in Portland and across the country are struggling to make ends meet. Most of these workers earn minimum wage and are nearly twice as likely to be at or near the poverty level compared to the overall workforce. Women, people of color, Latinxs, and non-citizen workers are overrepresented in this group and often struggle to provide for their families.

People's has recognized this for a long time, and that is why we try to do things differently. Our full time staff is organized as a collective, with each co-manager sharing an equal voice and responsibility in running the store. We strive toward paying all of the people that work here a livable wage, and provide health care for all employees working 30 hours per week or more. An empowered and fairly-compensated workforce is what we are striving towards.

It's also why, when the Burgerville Workers Union asked us to endorse their union, we did so enthusiastically and with the support of the Collective, our Board, and our Member-Owners. These workers are asking for respect, a living wage, and control over their jobs and their futures. They deserve all of those things, and shouldn't have to demand them from their employer. 

As it reads on the union's homepage:

We are fast food workers – mothers, fathers, students, grandparents. We are young and old. Everyday going into work, we're made to feel that we're at the bottom of the American economy. We make near minimum wage and struggle to make ends meet. People say, "It's fast food, what do you expect?" But no one should expect to live in poverty.
We formed our union because we matter, we work hard, we want respect, and we need a raise. We want to see the company do right by us, agree to a $5.00/hour raise, and listen to our voice.

The struggle that these workers are engaged in clearly relates to our Ends -- the values that drive the Co-op forward. 

Because we value human rights and social and economic justice, when members of our community can barely afford rent, transportation, and healthy foods (much less the other things that fulfill them) we should be working together to support them. Our local economy cannot truly thrive if people are struggling to afford the things they need. Our community will never feel safe and welcoming if its members do not feel valued, compensated, or heard. People cannot access the food that we provide if they can't afford groceries. And a workplace is not democratic if its workers aren't paid fairly or listened to.

Staying devoted to our Ends means standing in solidarity with people who are fighting for those values, especially when we're invited to. And so here we are, standing next to the BVWU and championing their demands. 

We hope you'll join us in the Community Room on Saturday May 14th at 6pm, when workers from the Burgerville Workers Union will come to tell us about their experience on the job and in organizing. Find out more about the event by following the link below. See you there. 

Coming Soon: More SNAP Match at the Market!

$10 SNAP Matching at the Farmers' Market Starts May 11!

Close your eyes. Imagine a farmers’ market. What are some things that come to mind? Heirloom veggies and wildcrafted mushrooms and herbs? Organically grown, non-GMO produce? Artisan cheeses, chocolates, and breads? Handcrafted hot foods and sweet treats? Chatting with a farmer or producer about the food you’re buying? What about affordability?

If you’ve been shopping at Portland-area farmers’ markets for a while, affordability may be one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about farmers’ markets. That’s because many farmers’ markets - including People’s - are helping improve access to farmers’ markets by giving people using government food benefits (like SNAP, EBT cards or WIC vouchers) matching funds to spend at farmers’ markets. At People’s Farmers’ Market, for example, we give folks using their EBT cards up to an additional $5 to use at the Market. In fact, in 2015 we gave matching funds to more than 80 people per week on average. That’s over $19,000 that went to our local economy and helped our community eat healthy, local food!

In 2016, we hope to do even more to provide our community with access to food they can trust, through a new program called Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB). DUFB is a statewide nutrition incentive program funded by a grant from the US Department of Agriculture that is designed to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable while supporting family farmers and local economies. The program will provide SNAP recipients with a dollar-to-dollar match up to $10 each market day to purchase fruits and vegetables.

DUFB will be offered at People’s Farmers’ Market beginning the first week of May, and will replace our current matching program. For our SNAP shoppers, this means a couple of changes:

1.     A new currency that can be used at over 40 farmers’ markets statewide. For a map of participating markets, pick up a brochure at the info booth or see www.doubleupfoodbucks.com/locations.

2.     New restrictions on what matching funds can be spent on. Whereas EBT funds (including Farmers’ Market tokens) can be spent on any SNAP-eligible foods, the Double Up Food Bucks can only be spent on fresh, dried, or frozen fruit and vegetables (including mushrooms, herbs, and beans) without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt.

The process to get the matching funds will be the same, though: stop by the info booth with your EBT card, swipe your card for EBT tokens, get matching tokens, and shop! If you are not using an EBT card but want to support the program, you can make a donation at the register to help us keep the program going throughout the 2016 season.

While People’s is looking forward to offering this new $10 match to our community, which helps us move towards our Ends of providing “access to healthy foods our customers can trust” and supporting “thriving local and cooperative economies,” some members of the Collective Management (myself included) have some hesitations about the program.

First, in restricting the use of the matching funds to such a narrow range of products in the name of promoting healthy eating, the USDA seems to be ignoring the well-documented health benefits of fermented foods (including sauerkrauts and tempeh) and honey. We also feel that such restrictions suggest that people using SNAP benefits are not able to make good food choices on their own. However, we see the fact that people are using their SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets as evidence to the contrary. [P1] Finally, the restrictions against masa, tortillas, pickles, and ferments create explicit barriers around culturally appropriate foods for many people in our community.

Despite these issues, People’s is excited about providing additional food dollars to people in our community when housing costs are going up and up, wages are stagnating, food costs are increasing, and government benefits are being cut. People can still use EBT tokens for anything allowed under the SNAP rules, which means $10 in Double Up Food Bucks for all your fruit and veggies, and $10 of your own EBT dollars for any other SNAP-eligible foods at the market. 

Everyone deserves access to the great foods that the farmers’ market offers. It is exciting to be able to join the Double Up Food Bucks program with more than 40 other farmers’ markets across the state to help increase that access, while supporting the farmers and small producers who help our local economy thrive.

-Ashley Todd, Farmers' Market Coordinator & Comanager

Better Business: Earthly Gourmet, Natural Foods Distributor & Social Change Activists

Better Business: Earthly Gourmet, Natural Foods Distributor & Social Change Activists

By: Jenna Chen, Marketing & Design Co-Manager

Earthly Gourmet is a vegan, gluten free natural foods distributing company based out of SE Portland, OR.  Heman and Marlena Bhojwani started Earthly Gourmet in 2006, and in a short 9 years now supply many of the top vegan, organic restaurants and businesses in our city including Laughing Planet Cafe, Sip Juice Cart and Canteen, Harlow and Prasad Cafes, Next Level Burger (a vegan burger joint that just opened on 4121 SE Hawthorne) and your very own People’s Food Co-op.  

People’s Food Co-op was Earthly Gourmet’s first customer.  In 1996, former Grocery buyers Melody Anderson and Sarah Barnard bought fair trade chocolate syrups and ginger chews for the store. They also worked with Heman and Marlena to inaugurate Earth Balance into our bulk section.  Earth Balance did not sell 30 lb boxes of their product until People’s and Earthly Gourmet expressed high demand and guaranteed an order.  This is an example of how values driven businesses can use their collective power to directly impact how something is produced, sold, and distributed – for the better.  

People’s commitment to buying in bulk not only reduces wasteful packaging but is more cost-effective for the consumer and producer.  Now, Earthly Gourmet distributes a wide array of almost exclusively vegan and gluten-free products to the greater Portland area, Olympia, and Seattle, and almost 95% of these products are produced on the West Coast.    

In addition to being a growing, values driven food distributor, Earthly Gourmet is working with Immigration & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) to employ refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and other places.  They currently have five full-time employees working for them that have come from overseas to seek asylum in the US.  These staff members often were employed as engineers and in other highly skilled trades in their homelands and now work at Earthly Gourmet.  Earthly Gourmet goes through rigorous and thorough questioning and investigation by the IRCO before being permitted to hire.  After they are hired, Earthly Gourmet trains them extensively on job tasks and serves as a resource as they adjust to living in the US.   Heman and Marlena’s willingness to open their workplace and hearts to those less fortunate than us and use their business as an example of how social justice can be actualized is truly inspiring.   

When asked what is next for Earthly Gourmet, a company that is meeting growing demand for vegan and gluten-free natural foods, Heman replies “The question is not how can we grow bigger - it’s how can we grow better”.  As People’s embarks into a future yet to be written, the idea of better growth rings clear and relevant.  How can we stay connected to our roots, our community, support the farmers and food producers around us in a sustainable way and thrive in our city?  The answer is up to us. 

A delicious lunch of vegan, gluten-free pizza, made in Earthly Gourmet's on-stie commercial kitchen which houses the headquarters of gluten-free bakery Sift.  All ingredients on the pizzas are ones that Earthly Gourmet distribute.  

A delicious lunch of vegan, gluten-free pizza, made in Earthly Gourmet's on-stie commercial kitchen which houses the headquarters of gluten-free bakery Sift.  All ingredients on the pizzas are ones that Earthly Gourmet distribute.  

Air Quality Concerns in Our Neighborhood

Since the news broke a week ago that Bullseye Glass has been releasing dangerous levels of airborne arsenic and cadmium, we've heard from numerous People's community members that they are concerned about how this may be effecting our health or contaminating soils. As the factory is located just a few blocks from People's, we're doing our best to stay up to date on developments from community groups, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Health Authority. 

To get connected to other concerned people to organize a response, Facebook is a good place to start. A few places to pages in particular provide ample information and are particularly active:

Both are good places to hear about public meetings as they are scheduled, as well as to find out about testing available and be alerted to media coverage. 

The DEQ and OHA are also both updating their websites with developments. The relevant pages are:

Resources included are a map of the affected areas, summaries about what we know so far, updates about information, the OHA hotline to discuss potential health effects, permit information, and more.  

Updates:

  • We have heard that there have been a few incidents of community members harassing workers at Bullseye. Just a reminder that most Bullseye employees have no control over the chemicals used in production, depend on their work for their livelihood, and have been unduly exposed to those same chemicals that may be affecting the broader community. 

Resources:

FULL: Sourdough Bread: Make Your Own Starter 2/21

Sourdough Bread: Make Your Own Starter

Sunday, 2/21 2-4pm

Class is currently full

To be added to the wait list, email jennachen@peoples.coop

Interested in learning a new hobby that will fill your home with the smell of homemade bread? In this two-hour class you will combine flour and water for a sourdough starter, from which you'll be on your way to creating a living, breathing substance to use for making your own sourdough bread. If you’ve made bread using commercial yeast, you’ll find this is a slower approach—with a better taste, often praised as more digestible. You'll take home a glass jar with white flour starter as well as printed material on moving toward baking your loaf plus resources for other kinds of starters—rye, gluten-free will help you toward satisfying sourdough baking. 

 

Grow Your Own Produce Series, Tuesdays Monthly

Grow Your Own Produce with Marisha Auerbach

Tuesdays 7-9pm for the 2016 growing season

This workshop series is designed to help you maximize your yields and endeavors in the garden by providing an overview of key activities to engage in at the right time each month from February through November.

Facilitator Marisha Auerbach has spent many years observing and interacting in her garden and in the greater bioregion. She has been growing most of her own produce year round for the past decade. Each month, she will provide you with a checklist for the month ahead. We will discuss different subjects that are pertinent to the garden each month with supported handouts.

(Click the class for detailed class descriptions)

February 9, 2016 - Planning, Design, and Framework

March 15, 2016 - Indoor Seed-Starting, Early Plantings, and Perennial Crops

April 5, 2016 - Cole Crops, Greens and Soil Building

May 3, 2016 - Warm-Season Crops, Edible Flowers, and Attracting Pollinators  

June 7, 2016 - Maintenance and Harvest
 

Cost is $100 for the 5 class series or $25 per class.  A 20% discount is available to People's Member-Owners.  Email Marisha with any questions and to receive the discount (queenbee@herbnwisdom.com) 

Register online or call the co-op.

For the Love of Bulk

For the Love of Bulk

By Kahadish Wa'adabisha, Bulk Buyer, Collective Manager

The History of Bulk

The bulk section at People’s Food Co-op offers a wide array of foodstuffs that are in alignment with values that began in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Around that time, the number of farms were declining and access to healthy, organic and pesticide-free food was not a primary focus. As a result food cooperatives were established by groups of people who wanted to make decisions about production and distribution of foodstuffs and the quality of food we eat. 

Food co-ops were on the front line of creating what are now known as “health food stores”. And between 1969 and 1970 approximately 10,000 food coops were established throughout the United States (People’s Food Coop being one of these co-ops).

The food cooperative movement, specific to the foundation of People’s, is different than the general health food movement in that it is very intentional. It is based on values, as seen in the Rochdale principles which guide the co-op:

  1. Voluntary & open membership
  2. Democratic Member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy & independence 
  5. Education, training & information
  6. Cooperation among cooperatives
  7. Concern for community

Making Bulk Part of your Everyday Life

In our bulk section you’ll notice a wide variety of organically grown grains, beans, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and even so called “super foods”, many of which are locally grown (noted by the Foodshed logos in the store). These items are significant in our co-op history, in that at co-ops used to be the main provider of these items to our community. 

Yet, lifestyles have changed over the last fifty years. People are busy and have so many obligations that they’re running between. Food options have been created that fit this lifestyle—there’smore eating out, grab and go, snacks and prepared food. There is less time given to and available for preparing food at home. 

But preparing food as it was originally intended grounds us in the movement that led to the founding of People’s Food Co-op and other food co-ops. Eating food in its whole form helps to fertilize the garden of our own bodies by honoring food preparation, eating the food we prepare, and returning to sharing food as a community.

Where to Start

There is something intentional in the action of preparing food in its most basic form. It connects us with the community it serves and the earth it comes from.  For example, try making beans instead of buying them canned. Through the process of making food from its whole form, you may find yourself having time to enjoy the beauty and colors of the food you eat. You’ll be honoring the fact that many of us have access to healthy, kindly planted and harvested food. You may be using your own containers and bags andtherefore reducing waste (statistics from the EPA show we generate approximately 80 million tons of waste fr om packaging and containers annually). And you’ll be supporting farmers and taking part in a legacy of food preparation that dates back to generations long before us.

Here's a recipe to get you started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups onion 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (or more) curry powder and garam masala
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup fresh tomato or 1, 15 oz canned tomatoes drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro

Directions:

Saute onion, garlic, ginger and spices in olive oil. Add squash, lentils, tomato and salt. Then add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring until the squash is tender for about 20 minutes. Stir in coconut milkand simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro and enjoy as this dish makes you comfy cozy

FULL: The Power of Our Food Choices 2/19

The Power Of Our Food Choices

With Lauren Ornelas

Friday Feb. 19
7-8:30 Pm
Free And Open To All, Everyone Welcome

 

This event is now full! 

Join Lauren Ornelas, executive director and founder of the Food Empowerment Project in Sonoma County, CA, for an educational presentation and community open discussion.  Lauren will share her experience and research on the following:

  • Working with farmworkers - what they endure in living and working conditions and facts from California, Oregon and Washington.
  • Increasing access to food particularly in communities of color, identifying barriers and solutions.
  • The ethics behind bananas, chocolate and other tropically sourced food
  • The difference and meaning behind food certifications like Fair Trade and others. 
  • Veganism and it's impact on the food justice movement.

We will talk about the power of our food choices, the social and food justice issues related to our everyday choices and how we can make a difference as consumers.  Free and open to all.  

About Lauren:

Lauren Ornelas is the founder/director of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit seeking to create a more just world by helping consumers recognize the power of their food choices. F.E.P. works in solidarity with farm workers, advocates for chocolate not sourced from the worst forms of child labor, and focuses on access to healthy foods in communities of color and low-income communities. While lauren was the director of Viva!USA, she investigated factory farms and ran consumer campaigns. In cooperation with activists across the country, she persuaded Trader Joe’s to stop selling all duck meat and was the spark that got the founder of Whole Foods Market to become a vegan. She also helped halt the construction of an industrial dairy operation in California.  She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for six years. Watch her TEDx talk on The Power of Our Food Choices. Learn more about F.E.P.’s work www.foodispower.org and www.veganmexicanfood.com.

Chocolate Galore! 2/13

Chocolate Galore!

Saturday, February 13, 1-2pm

Freshly made chocolate. There is nothing like it.  It is February and now is the perfect time to learn the art of making chocolate.  Janet Straub, local chocolate maker from Creo Chocolate, will be hosting this class.  The smells of roasted cacao beans, nibs and chocolate tea will fill the room. Watch a traditional wet stone grinder make chocolate, and enjoy a handful of samples.  This class is both a demo and a tasting.  A fun way to celebrate Valentine's Day this year.

Free and open to all. 

Register online, or call the co-op.