Spring is in the air and Nelson co-ops are inviting their staff, volunteers and directors to participate in a Random Act of Co-operation.
Under the direction of a few co-op leaders in the community, the group is planning to harness the collective power of co-operation to assist the Nelson Food Cupboard in preparing their garden in Uphill for the summer growing season.
Collectively, co-ops make a significant contribution to Nelson’s community and economy, with 240 individuals employed by local co-ops and 27,601 member-owners. Local co-ops range from credit union to worker co-op bakery, and from housing co-op to retail stores. This represents almost $8.5 million in wages and benefits invested back in to the community by these co-operatives.
Recently, Doug Stoddart, CEO of Nelson and District Credit Union (a financial co-operative), proposed a collaborative project to highlight the role that co-ops play in Nelson’s economy and community. His idea started with co-ops investing as a group into the Nelson Hydro solar garden initiative. Several co-ops came to the table and committed to the purchase of one solar panel each.
Together, Nelson’s co-ops are making the largest group investment into the solar garden project — a co-operative achievement which the co-ops would like to recognize. Building on this success, co-operatives in Nelson realized that they have many other opportunities to work together to highlight the co-operative economy.
To kick off six months of publicity and public education, beginning today and culminating with Co-op Week in October, co-ops will showcase their collective and co-operative impact by inviting their staff, volunteers and directors to a Random Act of Co-operation on Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Nelson Food Cupboard garden on the corner of Hoover and Ward streets.
It’s the time of year when the food cupboard garden needs a little love and they are encouraging the co-op participants to come prepared to shovel, rake, turn and plant over the lunch hour to ensure a successful garden season for the food cupboard’s shelves.
The food cupboard is seeing a dramatic increase in clients, and by ensuring a productive growing season the shelves can be complemented with locally grown produce. Work parties are being planned as this co-op flash mob of gardeners prepares to get a little dirty on Earth Day.