By Brandi Monson, member since 2006
What are we doing here? Is it just an outlet to purchase food? Like a local mini Sam’s club?
Our member handbook has this to say about it:
“Goals & Purposes: The purpose of the SEKS Buying Club is to provide members with high quality natural foods, at a reasonable cost while creating a supportive network.”
It goes on to expound on these goals and purposes as follows:
1~to coordinate our food buying so as to be able to get the best food at the best prices.
2~to create a community of people with shared values.
3~to experience the pleasures and challenges of working together cooperatively.
4~to promote organic agriculture and environmentally responsible technology and products by informed buying.
5~to educate others in our community about cooperatives, organic agriculture, environmentally responsible consumerism, etc.
6~to educate ourselves by sharing our skills and knowledge with each other.
So, as I ponder these thoughts, I question as to whether or not our club is living up to it’s ideals? I’d say “probably” to the first three, “maybe” to the 4th and most likely “no” to the 5th and 6th items.
Are we simply a buying club, getting what we need and looking no further than the end of our invoices? Or do we have a greater calling and community responsiblity?
We have a diverse group with a plethora of knowledge and talents. With a little cooperation & energy we could make a huge impact on our own community base here in Independence. Then perhaps reaching out to our sister communities. Some of that knowledge lies in our eating habits. For example we have: vegetarians, wheat-free, soy-free, raw foods, whole foods, & more, families with know how and have experience that could be shared with those in our club and our community.
We also have very experienced and knowledgable gardeners/farmers who have a wealth of information that could be shared with others. How many people do you know that don’t even grow a small garden? Why don’t they? Some don’t have room, others lack knowledge, and yet others don’t have the ability[ies] or resources. What if we were to impact the community on a ground level? Teaching others how to garden. Remember the “victory gardens” of the WW II era? I think that it’s high time that we start thinking along these lines again. Food isn’t going to get any cheaper. And we all know the benefits of home grown goodies.
Changing our community[ies]is a grass roots effort. I would love to see Independence take on a more healthful look, both in her citizens and in her property. I think that we can effect & affect this community in just such a way. Certainly on a small level to begin with, but all growth starts with a small seed.
Something as simple as a community garden. Or perhaps open houses where we share our knowledge with those in need. [Just from seeing Wal-Mart carrying wheat-free items, I know that there has to be a market in this town/area for wheat-free diets.] Perhaps having mini-seminars to educate interested persons to the benefits of organic and eco-friendly agriculture. What about natural living options including natural cleansers, cloth diapering, natural birth, breastfeeding, etc. There are many, many needs in our area. I am sure that there are just as many ideas out there in your minds as well. Wont you share them with us? Lets start a dialog and see where this trail leads us.