Hot Buffet Menu for Today, Sunday, September 15th:
Food For Thought
On Saturday, October 12th, at Landmark College, the Empty Bowls Steering Committee will serve up the 16th Annual Empty Bowls Dinner to benefit the food shelf program at Groundworks Collaborative, now known as Foodworks.
Writing the September Food For Thought article by the end of the first week of August feels odd. I feel like summertime with all that means and involves is slipping away and soon it will be time for people to return from their holiday and for school to start. This summer seems to be going quickly.
Stonewall Farm is a historic farm located in Keene, NH. It was founded over 300 years ago and has been a working dairy farm for over 200 years. In recent years it has evolved into a nonprofit working organic dairy and crop farm supported by philanthropic donations. From protecting pollinators, to growing organic food, to implementing amazing methods of regenerative agriculture, they are focusing on mitigating the effects of climate change. Stonewall Farm offers the southeast corner of New England farm education programs for adults and children, organic dairy products, a gorgeous event venue, and fresh fruits and vegetables that are sold at local retailers such as our Brattleboro Food Co-op. With a team of six full-time staff and a board of directors, they are blazing a trail within our region.
As we continue to work towards the complex improvement of our downtown, I continue to think deeply about the rather wide-ranging views of what both compassion and reasonable accountability look and feel like. No doubt like you, I contemplate this on a personal level, on an organizational level, and on a community level.
Each month, Co-op employees nominate colleagues they want to honor, and a committee comes together to vote on a winner. This month we had so many nominations we selected two staff members for the award!
A few years ago, I accepted a part time job running a fledgling program. It seemed perfect! I was committed to the mission, liked the hours, and was intrigued by the opportunity to build something from the ground up. Eighteen months later, the program was operating seven days a week, I was working full time with two staff, and the program was growing explosively. I jokingly told people I was the victim of my own success.
On a beautiful July afternoon, Jeff, the Beer and Wine Manager, and myself (Jon, Manager of Marketing and Community Outreach) traveled to Waitsfield, VT for an inside look at Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ new brewery, taproom, and retail store. Upon arrival we were received with a warm welcome from Chuck Derrick and TJ Greenwood…and then the adventure began. When you walk through the stunning front doors of the taproom, you are greeted by an array of smiling faces, amazing post-and-beam woodwork, and the smells of fresh beer and locally sourced food. On our tour of the facilities it was clear that the team at Lawson’s is a lively bunch, filled with a passion and deep commitment for brewing absolutely delicious beer.
I have heard from many of you already in response to the article in last month’s newsletter. In fact, I got into so many good discussions in the aisles that I started the discussion forum series early, on July 28. For those of you who missed last month’s article, we are looking hard at our discount program in an effort to decide how to financially order our priorities. Please note the dates for the discount focus groups in the event calendar. We are inviting a specific number of people to ensure that we have some good discussions, but any and all are welcome to the Community Room when these are scheduled. These focused discussions offer close looks at our finances as well as our current goals, while also providing a time for ideas and feedback on all that is presented. Interested? Please let us know.
Groundworks Collaborative has signed a lease on 141 Canal Street—the former home of Domino’s Pizza—as the new home for the region’s most heavily utilized food shelf program. The Food Shelf, which has operated from the Drop-In Center at 60 South Main Street since the 1980s, served well over 3,700 people in over 1,400 households in 2018.