Cooperative Community Fund
Helping organizations provide opportunities for the underserved youth in our communities to grow natural, sustainable produce.
Thanks to generous contributions from owners and customers, three local nonprofit organizations will receive a total of $1,950 in grants from the Cooperative Community Fund. A committee of seven consumer and worker owners selected these recipients for their innovative and inspiring agricultural projects . The projects reflect three important values: a community aspect of sustainable agriculture, a focus on providing young people with first-hand experience growing the fruits and vegetables they’ll eat, and the need to connect low-income families with fresh, local food within the traditions of diverse cultures.
$800 to train refugee youth at Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, a project of Orange County Partnership for Young Children.
The 3-acre educational farm provides agricultural growing space for 150 refugees, who were farmers in their native Burma. At the TTC Farm, families grow native North Carolina crops plus more than 20 crops native to Burma. The project funds will provide a partial stipend for refugee youth learning to run a refugee farmers’ market, and the funds will also supplement the incentives for shoppers using SNAP dollars at the refugee farmers’ market.
$750 for the installation of a greenhouse at Grady A. Brown Elementary School.
The already-purchased greenhouse will provide hands-on experience for students learning about sustainable farming. These future gardeners and farmers will learn about North Carolina crops and growing seasons, use organic and sustainable practices for crop rotation and pest control, and celebrate with community meals made from the healthy fresh fruit and vegetables they harvested. Students will use the experience gained in the greenhouse to start their own gardens at home with seedlings from the greenhouse.
$400 for TABLE to launch its new Garden Initiative, through which the organization will grow a portion of the vegetables needed for its Weekend Meal Backpack Program.
Twelve of the garden beds are located at McDougle Elementary School, and three are onsite at TABLE. The Garden Initiative will be a community effort, with TABLE staff and volunteers working with McDougle teachers and students to plant and maintain the crops. TABLE intends to use the gardens to help students and parents to develop healthy eating habits while gaining hands-on experience growing local produce. (Photo courtsey of TABLE)
Market’s Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) was established in 2001 as an
endowment fund whose interest is given annually to local nonprofit groups
working on projects with one or more of these focuses:
- sustainable agriculture and organic food
- hunger and malnutrition
- environmental protection
a committee comprised of consumer and worker owner evaluates the grant
applications and selects the recipients. Since its first grant award in 2006,
the CCF has presented grants to 21 local nonprofit organizations for a total of
$11,500, paid from the interest accrued on the endowment fund. Last year the
committee received seven grant proposals and awarded $1,800 in three grants in
Our Owners Give Back Locally through the CCF
contributions to the Cooperative Community Fund make a difference to the work
undertaken in your communities by local nonprofit organizations. This past year
Weaver Street Market owners and customers contributed more than $17,000 to the CCF,
bringing the endowment fund to more than $96,000. With the phenomenal growth in our fund,
we anticipate having steadily increasing funds to distribute in the coming
years. Thank you, co-op owners and
How Your Contributions Helped the Work of Local Nonprofit Organizations
We want our owners and customers to know about the important work their contributions have funded in our local communities. We’ve included below a list of the CCF recipients and their projects. CCF recipients, if you have photos and comments on your projects, please send them to
. We’d like to post some of those on the website!
At Chestnut Ridge Camp, community members, service groups, as well as campers participate in the Community Farm. The farm uses organic and sustainable practices. Part of the produce from the farm is shared with the community through low-cost garden memberships and donations to food pantries. The organization requested funds to implement a holistic ecological approach to pest management called “farmscaping.” The farmscaping plan will be implemented through a community workshop.
Farmer Foodshare hosts Donation Stations at 11 farmers’ markets. At the stations, the organization collects cash and food donations from shoppers and farmers, which they distribute to people at risk for hunger in the Triangle area. Through this program, farmers and shoppers have donated over 100,000 pounds of fresh food, and the organization has purchased more than $24,000 of food from local farmers. Farmer Foodshare requested funds for chalkboard easels to display information at their Donation Stations.
Last year Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels provided 20,000 nutritious hot meals and home visits for the elderly and disabled in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and the surrounding areas. The organization requested funds for its “Meals for the Homebound” program, which provides a hot meal to 115 recipients daily. The funds were requested to help offset the staggering rise in food costs and the large increase in requests for help (25 percent for two consecutive years)
Carrboro Parks Project is a public charity organization that works with local citizens and other organizations on fundraising projects to improve Carrboro’s parks and greenways. Grant funds were used to help purchase a water catchment and storage solution for the community garden at Baldwin Park.
Community Nutrition Partnership collaborates with schools, community organizations, and other non-profits to increase access to healthy, local, and organic foods among lower-income communities. The organization used its funds to support a special pilot program—a Veggie Van that brings affordable high-quality produce to low-income families in Orange County.
Orange County Partnership for Young Children and Carrboro Community Garden Coalition both maintain community gardens at the future site of MLK Jr Park in Carrboro. The two groups, working in collaboration, used their grant money to improve their shared watering system with the purchase of a solar battery charger and battery for the pump system as well as the installation of additional gutters and rain barrels.
Sewage Sludge Action Network works to educate the public about the application of toxic sewage sludge as a substitute for fertilizer and the risks of this practice to public health and the environment. The organization used its grant money to help purchase a projector that allows them to host screenings of their documentary film in a wider range of venues.
Sustainable Alamance assists ex-offenders in becoming successful members of society by providing resources and skills needed to find meaningful work in the community. Sustainable Alamance purchased equipment for their community urban farm project, through which ex-offenders learn farming skills and grow produce that is made available locally.
TABLE is a hunger relief organization comprised of college students and community volunteers committed to feeding hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. TABLE used its grant toward funding its TABLE for Two Mentoring program in which local food-insecure children and college students prepare healthy snacks together from fresh in-season ingredients.
The Community Lunch provides food assistance to the unemployed, culturally marginalized, and physically and mentally disabled in Chatham County. With its grant, the organization purchased a new refrigerator for storing larger quantities of food and ultimately providing service to an increasing number of guests.
The Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool provides a welcoming learning environment for students in Orange and Chatham counties. With its grant, the preschool developed its Healthy Children’s School Garden, which allows children to learn about sustainable agriculture and cook and share food with the greater community in need.
Sewage Sludge Action Network works to educate the public about the application of toxic sewage sludge as a substitute for fertilizer and the risks of this practice to public health and the environment. The organization use its grant to support an informational campaign that publicized its messages to farmers and the general public through a variety of publications and a direct mail campaign.
Student Action with Farmworkers seeks to bring students and farmworkers together to share resources and skills, improve conditions for farmworkers, and build diverse coalitions working for social change. SAF used its funds to support its “From the Ground Up” program, which attempts to build community and engage local supporters in fair food efforts.
Neighbor House is a collaborative effort among churches and civic groups with the goal of lessening hunger and malnutrition in Hillsborough and northern Orange County. The organization used its grant funds for its Food for All program, which provides hot, nutritious meals to anyone in need.
TABLE is a hunger relief organization comprised of college students and community volunteers committed to feeding hungry children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Its grant funds were used to support its Weekend Backpack Program, which provides nutritious food for elementary school children at risk for hunger on weekends when federally funded public school breakfasts and lunches are unavailable.
Toxic Free North Carolina has been fighting pesticide pollution in North Carolina for over twenty years. It used its grant funds to support two projects: Just & Sustainable Agriculture, which works to increase access to locally grown organic food, and Toxic Free Kids, which seeks to reduce or eliminate pesticide use in public schools.
Chestnut Ridge Camp
NC Rural Communities Assistance Project
Haw River Assembly
Orange Community Housing and Land Trust
Anathoth Community Garden