Update from the General Manager: "Food for Paradise" campaign
Ashland Food Co-op's General Manager, Emile Amarotico, ends 2018 on a very uplifting note with a report back on the "Food for Paradise" donation campaign. Watch the video below, or read on for an extended written update.
Hello, this is Emile Amarotico, the general manager of Ashland Food Co-op with an update on the Co-op’s Food for Paradise initiative.
A few weeks ago, we launched a fundraising campaign for residents of Paradise, CA displaced by the Camp Fire in November. We wanted to do what we do best: provide nourishing, organic food to families in the region.
When we realized the size of the task ahead of these displaced families, we thought about two specific Co-op principles: Concern for Community, and Cooperation among Co-ops. In Ashland, we know the threat of fires and how impactful they can be even when they’re miles away. So when a town the same size as Ashland is leveled by fires, our concern hits close to home: that could have been our house, our neighborhood or our co-op. We had to help.
We also know that because the Paradise area relies on many of the same local farmers and vendors that we do, keeping families fed through this difficult time was an important priority. Working together with our friends at the Chico Natural Foods Co-op, we could make sure good food went directly into the hands of families who need it the most.
Our original plan was to donate $3,000 to the Chico Co-op up front, and to then ask our community to contribute another $3,000 that the Co-op would match.
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way - far from it. Instead of the $9,000 we hoped to raise, I believe that we have completely surpassed this goal. At this time I’d like to share with you the total for donations received to date: over $13,000 has been donated from the community and the Co-op.
I am absolutely floored by this outpouring of support from our community. The generosity shown by Ashland, in spite of our own struggles with the fire season, shows that the caring spirit embodied in our town can be felt hundreds of miles away.
I can’t think of a better way for our community to demonstrate what the holidays are about. This effort will have an everlasting influence in our community: first by personifying and passing on the value of empathy, a priceless gift in and of itself; and second, by giving the recovering families of Paradise the peace of mind of not worrying how they’ll put food on the table while they recover.
Those are gifts that will never be forgotten.
Thank you personally and on behalf of the rest of the Ashland Food Co-op community. We look forward to the new year with such a strong co-op family around us.
More Co-op News
Thanks to alpine trails and shaded valley creeks, outdoor recreation is year-round in the Rogue Valley. But fall usually makes for more frisky feet, so we asked Co-op employees for their favorite fall activities and recommendations for what they grab before they head out.
Just in time for the school year, Applegate products are being added to the Co-op Basics program! The Co-op carries a variety of Applegate products, like sliced deli meat, cheeses, bacon, and sausages. Now as part of the Co-op Basics program, you’ll be saving up to $2 on Applegate products across the store, every day.
Another successful farm tour is in the books! With 30 farms this year, visitors could see how bigger farms work, like Herb Pharm, Fry Family Farm, and Rogue Creamery, while also experiencing the joys of smaller farms, such as Turning Point Farm, Fox Run Farm, and Daily Blessing Farm.
Visitors of all ages enjoying Goodwin Creek Gardens
Ashland is a paradise for the outdoors - but sometimes Mother Nature has different plans for us.
When smoke from wildfires becomes an issue, there are still plenty of great activities to enjoy around our wonderful town. Check out this list for some inspiration!
This year, the Ashland Food Co-op proudly celebrates their 20 year partnership with Magnolia Farms. Their pasture raised, no antibiotics, no hormones lamb is a staple in the Co-op Meat Department. Magnolia Farms is graciously donating the lamb for our August First Friday in celebration of our long standing partnership.
The Co-op has been asked if compostable plastic bags are a viable alternative to the standard plastic bags offered in the produce and meat departments.
For several reasons, compostable bags are not in line with the Co-op’s goals and standards.
Not compostable at home
We are happy to announce that we are a member of the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management program. This is a free program available to customers of Avista and Pacific Power, which offers awesome incentives including a paid internship!
Congratulations to Annie Hoy, Melina Barker, Lisa Beam, and Steve Bowman for their election to the Board of Directors! We were delighted to have such a strong slate of candidates to fill our four vacancies. You can read more about each new director here.
Have you thought about how sustainable your paper home products are? While the use of single-use plastics has (rightfully) been criticized, some products are made to be single-use - like toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins. With these products, it’s best to examine sustainability by looking at what goes into their production.
We are grateful for the engaged community that supports the Ashland Food Co-op. We're a grocery store owned by you (with a few thousand of your friends). But your ownership isn't just coupons and discount; you help shape the future of the Co-op through the election of the Board of Directors.
This year, seven candidates are nominated for four board positions: two will serve a three-year term; one will serve a two-year term; and one will serve a one-year term. Additionally, the current board has proposed three by-law changes for approval.
The Farm Tour shines a spotlight on Southern Oregon - it represents the full range of products grown in the Rogue Valley. The Farm Tour isn't until July 14, but here's a list of tour activities for participating farms that are also on the shelves at the Ashland Food Co-op. Get an early taste of quality local goods!
By Emile Amarotico, General Manager
If we are lucky, we’ll only have another seven week smoke intrusion this summer. If we are not, we could be the next Paradise. In less than 13 hours, last November’s Camp Fire wiped out nearly 19,000 structures and more than 80 lives. With community help, we were able to raise over $14,000 to support Chico Natural Foods Co-op’s efforts to feed some of the nearly 20,000 displaced Paradise residents.
Did you know the Co-op employees have a small garden on our campus? Planning and management falls on our fantastic Co-op volunteer: Henry Herting.
Below, Henry shares some background on the garden, what it’s used for, and some additional tales from over the years.
Originally, the need for a kitchen garden arose from having a kitchen classroom in which culinary classes were being held. Visiting chefs have always been invited to use the garden for any ingredients they may have forgotten or items they could use as garnish for their dishes.
By Steve Bowman, AFC Board Director