The following is reprinted from Triangle Business Journal, May 31, 2019:
List your company’s charitable activities in the past year and how you helped the cause. In 2018, we donated more than $360,000 to six local nonprofits that support communities dealing with food insecurity: PORCH, Orange Congregations in Missions, Inter-Faith Council for Social Services, TABLE and Orange County Schools [plus our newest partner, A Place at the Table]. These community partners provided 300,000 pounds of fresh produce and healthy food for the children and families they serve through food pantries, backpack meals for students and food for families.
Our owners and shoppers play an important role in supporting our efforts in the community. They rounded up their purchases to the nearest dollar 635,392 times to raise $285,600 in 2018. These funds allowed our community partners to increase the number of children and families they serve, the amount of the fresh produce provided, and for some, how frequently food is provided.
Other charitable activities were funded through ticket proceeds from our wine shows and beer & cheese festival and the sales of Hope for the Holiday products. We raised more than $40,000 for our Cooperative Community Fund. We raised more than $20,000 for the Rural Advancement Foundation International.
Why is it important that companies partner with local philanthropic organizations? Because it makes a meaningful difference in the lives of the people who live here. Another important aspect of our community food partnerships: While we share a commitment to serving our communities, we each bring different resources and skills to the table. Our nonprofit partners are experts at connecting with the underserved in the community, assessing their food needs and building relationships. Weaver Street Market complements those efforts by providing the staff, equipment, and facilities for sourcing, storing, and delivering large quantities of fresh food daily.
How does philanthropy impact your bottom line? We are a cooperative built for the community, by the community. Our owners appreciate the high-quality, locally sourced food we sell – and the good that we do in our community. That includes providing local jobs that pay living wages, protecting the environment by becoming the first grocer in North Carolina to eliminate plastic shopping bags, and sharing our resources so that others in our community have enough good, healthy food to eat.
What are your plans for philanthropic involvement in the coming year? The exciting news for the year ahead involves our partnership with A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant. With the opening of our new store in Raleigh’s Warehouse District this summer, we are donating all funds from our Round Up! program [in Raleigh] to be used to buy meal tokens for those who cannot afford to pay for a fresh, healthy meal. Our goal is to provide 12,500 tokens over the next year.