A Renton Food Co-op

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Food.

All animals need it to survive and thrive. Seems simple enough: Find food. Eat food. Survive. Thrive.

Sure-you can eat just about anything and survive. Fast food, frozen processed TV dinners, energy drinks-you can certainly survive on all of them. But over time, it will take a toll on your body. The question is-what can you do to thrive? What choices can you make right here in Renton to do that? And-what can you do to not only nourish your body to thrive, but to help your community and planet thrive?

These are all concerns and questions that a local group of community members are exploring together. And the channel we are using to explore these questions is the idea of a local grocery co-op. Currently using the name Renton Food Co-op (although Renton Grocery Co-op is gaining favor), this group is gathering on a regular basis to create a vision of a local, sustainable, member-owned and operated grocery cooperative. We are inspired by other successful grassroots co-op models that already exist in the region, such as Olympia Food Co-op, Tacoma Food Co-op, and the under construction Delridge Grocery.

Why does Renton need a grocery co-op you ask? We already have a Grocery Outlet; Fred Meyer and Safeway have organic produce; Minkler’s has gluten-free products. True-but a locally owned, member operated grocery co-op provides something unique and special that can’t necessarily be found in those other businesses: an opportunity to nourish our community, the environment, and all people.

A grocery co-op would provide many benefits to Renton:

–          A space to find locally sourced, sustainable, organic food;

–          An opportunity to be a stakeholder in how the grocery co-op is run;

–          Create and provide new jobs;

–          A space to hold educational classes on cooking, making healthy food choices, sustainability, etc.;

–          A means to care for our environment by intentionally offering sustainable shopping choices;

–          and A space to build community connections and partnerships.

Our steering committee meets every few weeks, and is growing. But we want to see this idea engage the wider community and thrive. We encourage any interested parties to get in contact with us. There are many ways to get involved-some very simple, and some that are more in-depth.

We look forward to sharing more details about this project as it proceeds and develops in the near future.

If you would like to find out more or get involved, please contact us via email at sustainablerenton@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook.

We need YOU!

Sustainable Renton is in a really great position at the moment, with a lot of momentum behind several projects

We have a successful monthly series of film screenings called Meaningful Movies-these are movies that challenge, educate, and enrich us.

Our community farm in NE Renton is really coming to life-seeds are being planted, pathways are being laid, a kid’s sandbox is in place. It is exciting to think of all the possibilities that lay ahead for this project.

And we now have a group working to develop a Renton Food Co-Op. This group sees the need for a local business that would be a focal community point highlighting local, organic, sustainable  food and products.

All of these projects require a lot of hard work from many people. Until now, a core group of individuals has been working diligently to get things rolling. But we are the point now where we need some further assistance in specific areas if we want to see the projects grow and thrive.

If you have experience in any of the following roles (or want to learn with us!), please contact us at sustainablerenton@gmail.com to find out more. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Together, we can achieve great things!

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Volunteer coordinator. This role would entail recruiting volunteers to help for either the community farm or food co-op projects. Experience with volunteer recruitment with non-profits is preferred, but not required.

Grant-writing coordinator. This role would involve researching possible grants for both the community farm and the food co-op, and then writing grant proposals to be reviewed by the Sustainable Renton board. Experience with grant-writing is highly beneficial, but not required.

Fundraising coordinator. This role would involve working with the Sustainable Renton board to develop fundraising sources to support our projects-these sources could include events, private donors, matching donation programs. Experience with fundraising is preferred, but not required.

May Events @ Sustainable Renton

May is shaping up to be another busy month for Sustainable Renton. Please read below to find out more about the different meetings and activities happening throughout the month. Unless otherwise specified, all meetings happen at our offices at 970 Harrington Ave NE in Renton. There are so many great things happening-we’d love to make a space for you to come and get involved.

May 4 – Sustainable Renton Community Farm: Work Party;  10am-4pm. Location: 11840 148th Ave. S.E., Renton, Washington 98059. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

how_to_startMay 9 – Renton Food Co-op: Visioning Meeting; 7pm. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

May 16 – Sustainable Renton Board Meeting; 7pm.

May 31 – Meaningful Movies: Manufactured Landscapes; 7pm. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

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MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

This is a FREE event with a suggested donation of $5. Refreshments provided.

April Happenings @ Sustainable Renton

There are a number of upcoming events/meetings that Sustainable Renton is hosting this month. All events are held at our offices at 970 Harrington Ave NE in Renton. Contact sustainablerenton@gmail.com for more information. See you all soon!

April 18- Renton Food Co-op: Continue the Conversation. 7pm. Sustainable Renton is looking into starting a Food Co-Op and are in the beginning stages of making this dream a reality. We are in need of dedicated and passionate people. We are difinitely looking into becoming a buying club first until we can make the transition into something bigger. Come and be a part of history. You can RSVP on the Facebook event page.

April 25-Sustainable Renton Board Meeting. 7pm. All are welcome to come and join in the workings of our board. We currently have a couple of large projects that are getting started, and your input and participation is encouraged.

April 26-Meaningful Movies: No Impact Man. 7pm.

Renton Food Co-op Part Deux

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Join board members and other community members for a breakfast potluck, sharing of research findings,and then a caravan to tour the Tacoma Food Co-Op.

Saturday, April 6th at 9:30am. Sustainable Renton offices at 970 Harrington Ave NE.

You can RSVP at the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/169682573186207/

MEANINGFUL MOVIES – Good Food

MEANINGFUL MOVIES of RENTON
a Sustainable Renton event

Sustainable Renton presents: Good Food (The Movie)

For decades Northwest agriculture was focused on a few big
crops for export. But climate change and the end of cheap energy
mean that each region needs to produce more of its own food and
to grow it more sustainably. Good Food visits farmers, farmers’
markets, distributors, stores, restaurants and public officials who are developing a more sustainable food system for all farmers.

We will be viewing the movie followed by a community
discussion of its content and how we can foster change in our own
community.When: Friday, October 26th 7-9 pm
Where: 970 Harrington Ave. N.E. Renton, WA 98056

This is a FREE event with a suggested donation of $5
Refreshments provided

For more info please contact sustainablerenton@gmail.com

Cascade Neighborhood-a Local Food System in action?

Today, I took a walk around the Cascade neighborhood of Renton with my kids. We spotted a couple of signs of healthy local food system developments-a school garden, and fresh homegrown produce for sale.

The gardens are at Renton Park Elementary. They are bursting with color.

Each classroom has their own raised bed.
The kids are going to have a great time in the Fall exploring what they planted.

And the produce is being sold from someone’s home-but I wasn’t able to find it today. I’ll have to go exploring further another day.

Seen on SE 168th St.

It’s nice to see these simple ways to reconnect with our sources of food. What have you spotted in your neighborhood?

Meaningful Movies – URBAN ROOTS

Come join Sustainable Renton at a new monthly film series we are hosting called Meaningful Movies. The first film in the series will be URBAN ROOTS, shown on Friday, August 31st at 7pm. These film screenings are free and open to the public, but donations are accepted to support Sustainable Renton. There will be a discussion to follow the screening. Board member Lara Randolph will be our host.

Location: 970 Harrington Ave NE, Renton WA.

From the Meaningful Movies Project: We are a group of concerned citizens in your neighborhood who are trying to make a difference in the defense of justice and pursuit of peace. We present social justice documentary films the last Friday night of every month, along with facilitated open community discussion on a wide range of topics, free and open to the public, with donations accepted to support Sustainable Renton. Our purpose is to gather, educate, inspire, connect, and commit to peace and justice

URBAN ROOTS is the next documentary from Tree Media. Produced by Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) and Mathew Schmid and directed by Mark MacInnis, the film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.

Sun + rain = lots of yummy veggies?!

Between all this warm, sunny weather and some rain, gardens are bursting w/ veggies right now. See the harvest of Kim, a gardener at the Sunset Community Garden.

The tomatoes, though, might not be faring so well. What do you do to keep your tomatoes from splitting and growing healthy with this sort of weather?

Fresh from the Sunset Community Garden

How is Your Garden Growing Potluck!

Sustainable Renton is hosting a potluck dinner event for you to gather up with fellow gardening residents of the Renton area.  We will eat and get to know one another while we share learning and success on our garden adventures.
 
This is a great way to learn from a friendly group and find out about other events in the area.  Questions?  Contact Michelle at michelle.salima@gmail.com or 425-518-9692 (text or voice).
 
Feel free to bring kids, we have an area for them to hang out.
 
Thursday, July 26, 6:30-8PM
970 Harrington Ave NE; Renton WA.