May, 2020 Co-op virtual AGM Invite, Past Year Projects

Warm greetings to our 72 Gulf Islands Food Co-op Members, plus other contacts!

We’ve spent the past year doing our utmost to support Food Producers and local food security on Pender, Galiano, Saturna and Mayne, and in the traditional Coast Salish territories where we are grateful to be. This includes special Co-op supports during covid (see Projects below).

Now it’s time for a virtual ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, for Members and any interested others. This is to share info and feedback, and then set the course based on what each island needs most in the year ahead.

Date: Sunday, May 17

Time: 4:00 to 5:00 pm

Please RVSP to info@gulfislandsfoodco-op.org ASAP, with your phone # if you have free long-distance and slow internet, OR your skype address if you prefer internet (install Skype app to use your phone for this too).

AGENDA: Review PROJECT ACTIVITIES OVER THE PAST YEAR (see below), finances, and potential new funding and projects.

Then welcome feedback and additional project ideas for the Co-op to focus on (in full co-operation with other island groups).

Finally, discuss/confirm Board Directors and paid On-Island Project Coordinators for the coming year (new ones welcome).

Best wishes at this challenging time!  We are stronger and more resilient together :-)  Zorah Staar, Co-op Treasurer

PROJECT ACTIVITIES OVER THE PAST YEAR:  Thanks to Vancity, the CRD, plus Community Works hauling funds, we’ve supported island Food Producers to work on or benefit from:

Joint Bulk Buying and Soil Amendment Hauling

  • Co-op coordinated cost-saving bulk purchases of necessary supplies for 15 Food Producers
  • adapted Gulf Islands Food Co-op online ecommerce for producers to pay for bulk buying
  • COVID: supported 50 Producers to buy supplies needed to keep growing for their communities
  • (separate Community Works grant) also supported 20 soil amendment truck hauls to keep growing

 

Education / References and Indigenous Outreach:

  • Honouring Indigenous Food workshops on Pender and Saturna (March, 2019), plus online references
  • Soil Building Class on Galiano (March, 2019), plus online island soil building references
  • Sustainable Poultry Workshop on Pender (Feb, 2020) – check back for post-covid workshops!
  • Saturna Local Food Security workshops (Jan/Feb, 2020), leading to Island Food Production Guide
  • COVID: supported Tsawout + 4 island programs to provide local meals for vulnerable islanders

 

Joint Selling through Co-op Tables and Ecommerce Development

  • “Co-op Table” hosts at 25 Galiano, Mayne & Pender Saturday Markets (June to Oct/19), sold for dozens of Food Producers (back on the land planting, weeding, watering – to keep the food coming)
  • steadily developing Producer support for joint selling, plus other on-island & inter-island cooperation
  • refined Ecommerce system, got Producers using for bulk buying, now 2 groups interested in selling
  • COVID: supported Saturna Food Bag program + 3 island Food Banks to provide local food as needed

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