As a community-owned co-op market, Weaver Street was created by the community, for the community. Nowhere is this more evident than in our Round Up campaign. This year our customer service staff took on the goal of achieving a 40% Round Up rate—that is, 40% of all shopping transactions rounded up to the nearest dollar. Last year, 34% of 1.8 million shopping transactions were rounded up by owners and shoppers—that’s 635,392 times at an average of 45 cents—to raise $285,600 for our local community food partners.
Our Round Up Team, which spearheads the campaign, proposed the 40% goal for two important reasons: 1) to provide healthy food for organizations who serve another group of individuals—the food-insecure seniors in our communities and 2) to maintain the level of funding that has allowed our community partners to grow the number of families served.
Our goal is to increase round up participation so we can add organizations who serve the food-insecure seniors in our communities. One in five seniors in North Carolina is food insecure. This includes those who do not know where their next meal is coming from and those who do not have access to healthy food options. Seniors living in rural communities are at even greater risk.
If we reach and sustain the goal of rounding up 40% of transactions, donations will jump from $285,600 to more than $335,000. The additional funds would enable us to add a senior program that serves Chapel Hill-Carrboro and another that serves Hillsborough in 2020.
Our community food partners are now providing more food, and healthier food, for more kids and families. We’re finishing up our second month of the Round Up campaign for backpack meals and have some updates from Orange County Schools and TABLE.
Orange County Schools
This school year we delivered a total 36 pallets of fresh, healthy food for 484 food insecure kids in the Orange County Schools for their winter, spring, and summer breaks. New this year were refrigerated items—Homeland Creamery milk, Latta eggs, and Cabot butter and cheese!
In June, we purchased (at or below cost) 12 pallets of healthy food with Round Up funds, which were delivered to six OCS schools the last week of school. Each of the six schools had a team of volunteers on hand to sort and bag the food for the families to pick up. Each $150 raised in the Round Up provides food for 1 child across the three breaks.
The food delivered was the freshest available! Homeland Creamery milked cows and bottled milk on Wednesday afternoon for our Thursday morning delivery. The produce arrived early morning before the sun was up. And we delayed our delivery so we could include cases of freshly packed Latta Eggs delivered right at our truck’s door. We told the kids and staff that we were late because the chickens were slow laying the eggs!
—Brenda Camp, Outreach Coordinator
TABLE’s school-year backpack program ended last week, leaving their pantry shelves depleted. Laura, the program director, shared that they had to make an emergency run to Costco to have enough food for all the kids. The first week of July, Summer TABLE begins, and Weaver Street will make weekly deliveries of fresh, healthy food for 525 or more kids for the 10 weeks of summer. We’ll start stocking those empty shelves this week.
TABLE’s Summer backpacks provide food for weekend meals and snacks for each child. Each $150 raised in the Round Up covers 1 child for the summer.
Our PORCH Round Up raised $63,550 this year (less than the $76,750 raised in 2018). PORCH funds are used to purchase fresh produce for PORCH’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro Food for Families program, which has grown from 261 families in 2015 to 428 this year. The funds also provide fresh food for 50 families living in Hillsborough and northern Orange County. PORCH will continue to serve all the families enrolled in the program, and we’ll work even harder to find reasonably priced produce for the families.
We recently received this letter of appreciation from the Board of Directors at PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro and PORCH Hillsborough: