Umojo Food Co-op's first buy + share is a success



What follows, is a report from Umojo Food Co-op in Brooklyn, NYC regarding their first buy + share. For those looking to provide their community with food alternatives, read carefully. For those in Brooklyn looking to get involved with Umojo, drop us a comment. They are meeting TONIGHT in Bedstuy to plan the next buy + share. Check the Liberator Calendar for more info: www.liberatormagazine.com/events

Power and strength of numbers in action: Guided by the wisdom of our Ancestors through the medium of the great Jitu Weusi "Umojo/Unity Food Coop" was formed. Approximately 20 local community members were moved by a call for action which proved the power of collective activity. Setting aside all reasons not to, all past adverse experiences or experiments and all other immobilizing excuses, membership, shopping and packing committees were established; plans were developed with an emphasis on definitive action; and, 12 members stepped up to the plate in full commitment and took action. To the delight of all involved, the overall goal was successfully reached, and the taking of action returned a resounding vibration of "Yes, we can!"

Key words "in action" translated to "yes, we can". Just as it took the act of going to the polls and casting a unified majority voice to create change in the administration of the United States, so too has change in purchasing power of a small number of local community members been recently realized when action was taken to make a cooperative purchase. Thus demonstrating "power and strength of numbers in action" as it pertains to purchasing fruits and vegetables to feed our family; more especially honored and appreciated for providing a needed stretch of the dollar during this crucial wave of global financial instability.

The jury is in and the verdict is a unanimous win-win-win situation. As the aftermath evidences putting enough food in our hands to require shopping carts and help carrying the rewards of our efforts home; with $20.00 change returned from the designated $50.00 each purchase share as established for our first buy. I am sure that many of our members can not remember going to a fruit and vegetable stand, supermarket or grocery store with $50.00, and getting family-sized portions of a combination of 19 items of fresh fruits and produce, too numerous to carry without help, and receiving any change returned, more less imagining $20.00 change being returned.

This could not have happened without determination to take collective responsibility and action. Unified action and roll-up-your-sleeve-throw-down with whatever is needed attitudes provided by our shoppers and packers paid-off big time. The front cover illustrates the share package booty reaped from our round-one conquest in our war against poverty and financial debilitation. It truly exemplifies the small things we can do when we take responsibility to act; as well as -- and worthy to be repeated from rooftops and mountain-tops -- “the power and strength of numbers in action”.

Facilitation expenses included:
Gag - $25.00;
Shopping Entry Fee - $20.00 ($3.00 per person + $5.00 per conveyance);
Bags - $10.00;
Continental breakfast for shoppers + driver - $10.00;
Grant Total Facilitation Expense = $65.00

Donated resources included time, labor, conveyance and packing site. The $50.00 share packages to be picked-up by participating members consisted of: onions, potatoes, yams, cabbage, kale, Romaine lettuce, apples, pears, oranges, cantaloupe, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, avocados, tomatoes, spinach, bananas, plantains and broccoli; plus $20.00 change returned. Members requiring and/or requesting delivery were serviced at a $10.00 additional direct expense.

Kudos to all members, first-buy participants, and especially, to the driver, shoppers and packers -- as well as those entities responsible for providing land conveyance and packing location -- all of which without, our goal could not have been reached. May our bonds be strengthened as we continue to improve and expand our operations. To all who see the value in what we have done and what we are doing, and want to share in the action, please call 718-773-2252; and/or join us in our next meeting on February 12, 2009, Thursday, 6pm, 1958 Fulton Street (Between Howard & Ralph Avenues), Room 300A.

All are welcome. The power and strength of numbers in action work; and, the greater the numbers, the greater the power. Food, shelter and clothing, being a common need, can, will and must be made more affordable by increasing our purchasing power. The evidence of our action thus far showers us with the increased confidence of self-determination and factual knowledge that, “Yes, we can!”