August 2020
In this month's newsletter:
  • A Word from the General Manager
  • A Word from your Board
  • Events, Announcements, & Community Happenings
  • Online Ordering
  • Art Installation
  • Cafe is Open!
  • Bucket Brigade Update
  • Solidarity Gardens
  • Run for the Board
  • COVID Safety in Phase 4
  • Compost Collection Needed
  • Looking Ahead: Owner Appreciation Days
  • Solar Power Hour
  • Exciting New Products
  • Round Up For Good Update
  • Classes Canceled Until Further Notice
  • Thanks for Reading $2 Off Coupon
"Thank YOU Common Ground Owners. You are the reason we are here in the first place and the reason we are still here today. Many small businesses are going out of business these days but thanks to you, Common Ground will survive! Thank you for continuing to shop either inside the store or from the curb out front. Thank you for your kind words to our staff. Thank you for wearing a face covering to keep our staff and each other safe. Thank you for being engaged, active members of our community!"

"The question for those of us who are fortunate to have plenty in these strange days is how we can best employ our resources. All of us bring a different budget and a different mixture of constraints & preferences to this question. I encourage you to do everything you can according to your own lights."

The Board of Directors typically meets the second Monday of the month from 6:15 to 8:15 pm in the Flatlander Classroom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors meets online via Zoom. Email for more information!
Common Ground is going online! On August 2nd, we are launching an online Co-op Shop with curbside pick-up. Thank you to all those who placed phone orders the last four months! We look forward to serving you through our online store!

Common Ground is celebrating the work of six Illinois Black artists in our newest outdoor art installation. With the intention of bolstering these artists and showcasing their work to our community, we have commissioned some of their existing art centering around BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) as the main subject. This outdoor installation will be up through the rest of the year to spread joy and empowerment through this trying time. Common Ground exists to serve our vibrant community and we are actively seeking ways to support and promote the diversity of our community. Below, you can read more about Mooki, Haiku, Kofi Bazzell-Smith, Nailah Davis, Ja Nelle Davenport-Pleasure, and Keenan Dailey and ways you can further support their art.
Mooki is an aspiring visual development artist whose main focus is to bring diversity to the forefront. She makes concept art inspired by video games, animation and her day to day life. She works with traditional and digital mediums.
Prints and commissions available upon request 
I’m Paris, artistically known as Haiku. I’m an aspiring comic artist. Largely, my goal is to show people who come in contact with my art that there are characters that look like them- like me - and have interesting and unique stories to be told.
Commissions available upon request 
Kofi Bazzell-Smith is a Champaign based artist working in manga, Japanese-style comics. Kofi speaks Japanese and has studied manga in Japan twice. A U.S.-Japan Bridging Scholar, Kofi also lectures on storytelling and Japanese culture. His YouTube channel, Kofi Manga, teaches lessons on manga production and storytelling.

Artist statement
I think It's easy to say Black Lives Matter without any real thought behind what that means. Life is such a nebulous concept and there are many facets of Black life in America that I believe need to be acknowledged. This thought was the impetus for my illustration series.

Information about classes, art, manga, commissions and more
Kofi teaches workshops and lectures via Zoom on several topics:Manga, Storytelling, Comics, Japanese language and culture, Winning scholarships, Succeeding in College.
Currently Kofi produces and sells a series of hand-painted prints featuring Black intellectuals.
Digital and hand painted prints available for purchase. Limited commissions available upon request.
Black Art Matters piece: 5X7" double-sided prints are $5; 5X5 stickers are $5. 
Patrons may support work:
Instagram:  @kofi.manga
Youtube:  Kofi Manga
Nailah Fumilayo Davis is a Moroccan/Afro-American, gender nonconforming, multi-disciplinary artist. Originally born in Chicago, Illinois, they are currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Davis received their BFA in photography from Parsons, The New School, and is now a grad student at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts in the Interactive Telecommunications program.

Through multiple disciplines such as photography, performance, mixed media collages, video, and instrumental music, Nailah’s work explores expressions in Africana life, in regard to race, gender, and identity politics. Davis’ work considers an integrative approach to art-making and storytelling by expanding the boundaries of traditional art practices. With an interest in conveying new narratives regarding multi-intersections of Black culture, Davis’ practice behaves as a cultural study that reflects the aesthetics and values of subcultures within the Africana diaspora. Davis is committed to highlighting underrepresented groups, and rejecting conventional Western depictions of Black life in art and mainstream media. With an interest in generating multi-sensorial content, Davis also creates otherworldly and abstract audio-visual performance installations that use creative technology softwares/hardwares and conceptual art practices to explore multi-dimensional storytelling. Through their installations, Davis seeks to create experiences that cultivate thought around liberation and free existence for marginalized groups. Davis provides a unique perspective that draws attention to often ignored dynamics between the storyteller, the viewer and the subject. The work creates a self-autonomous audience by encouraging the confrontation of preconceived racialized notions.

Artist statement about Confrontation Series
Nailah Davis’ Confrontation Series features studio portraits that were cut out, scanned, and collaged, both digitally and analogously. Davis shot with queer and trans Black people that they met through social media. These mixed media collages call attention to the often ignored dynamics between the viewer and the subject. The gaze from the subject, almost automatically, confronts the viewer. This is amplified through the distortion and exaggeration on the subjects face. Through this series, Davis explores identity by focusing on Black features, by placing emphasis and exaggerativeness around the faces of the subject. This is what allows for viewers to confront their preconceived racialized notions around Black aesthetics and expressions. This work is visually connected to Hip-Hop visual culture, as an attempt to celebrate the range of Black aesthetics.
Instagram:  @nailahfdavis
Images on website available for purchase.
I got involved in making art by reusing and recycling what I already have in my possession. Every piece is made from sustainable materials. Nothing can be reproduced. Through this, I have found a wonderful medium to turn trash into beautiful works of art of course that is not all I do. I use my many gifts and talents in the literary world, as well as dance and fashion to teach people ways to unleash their creative minds. I find that by using these skills I can be one of many who can build a community with others and strengthen the stagnant brains to think outside themselves. I want to bring together collective souls that encourage, strengthen, and have them support one another. I want to embody a pathway for people to explore themselves internally and externally through art. I am comical and silly and I truly enjoy bringing people from all walks of life together to share, to explore, to uplift through art. 

Facebook:  Royel Bijou Designs
Work available for purchase on website. Commissions available upon request.
"I am a multidisciplinary afrofuturist artist and designer. My work focuses on disenfranchised and marginalized communities. Using empathic systems design thinking, I seek to analyze the ways in which systems of oppression work to destroy and dismantle those very communities and forge harmonious design solutions to help ease and eventually end those communities' suffering. I seek to use my artistic voice in conjunction with my design efforts to share catharsis with those populations who ordinarily wouldn't have the opportunity to express trauma."

Prints available for purchase, contact artist.
Pizzas, Sandwiches, Coffee, Tea, Bagels!
Open 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Our drink special this month is the Passion Fruit Green Tea . It's refreshing and perfect for quenching your thirst during this summer heat wave!

Did you know we have daily drink specials? Check them out!
Mocha Mondays -- $1 off any mocha
Tea for Tuesdays -- $1 off any hot or iced tea.
Espresso Wednesday -- $1 off any espresso drink
Tea latte Thursdays -- $1 off any Tea Lattes.
Drink of the Month Friday's -- $1 our featured Drink of the Month
What's better than a sandwich stacked to the skies?

Our newest sandwich, the Co-op Club, is packed with smoked turkey, ham, pepperoni, cheddar, pickles, tomato, onion, spinach, mayo, stone ground mustard on locally made sourdough bread.
Looking for a vegetarian or vegan option?

The Co-op Seitan Reuben is for you! The Seitan Reuben is made with Co-op made Pastrami Seitan, Sauerkraut, Swiss or Daiya Vegan Cheese, Vegan Thousand Island Dressing, Toasted on locally made Rye Bread.
We serve pizza slices fresh daily starting at 11 A.M.
Don't forget! You can also call in ahead for a made-to-order Pizza.

Some of our most popular signature pizzas are:
Spinach Basil Garlic: Our Co-op made Red Sauce with your choice of cheese, Spinach, Basil and Garlic
Local 3 Cheese : Our Co-op made Red Sauce, Local Mozzarella, Local Colby Jack, Local Cheddar and Garlic & Herb topping
Savory Seitan Sausage: Our Co-op Made red sauce, Seitan Sausage made in house, Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Miyoko's Vegan Mozzarella

In response to COVID-19, the Channing Murray Foundation started an initiative called the Bucket Brigade to help feed our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Food staples are donated and distributed weekly throughout the community. Common Ground is proud to be contributing to the Bucket Brigade! With the help of our owners’ donations, we raised over $1,000 in July alone. The Co-op matched every donation and provided the Bucket Brigade with over $2,000 worth of food and masks! That's 63 buckets going to our neighbors in CU!
During July, Common Ground also received a donation of fresh tomatoes and peppers from Sola Gratia Farm. Sola’s plants suffered devastating damage during the hailstorm last month. With much of their produce punctured or damaged from the hail, Common Ground processed several pounds of tomatoes and peppers into delicious salsa verde. This fresh salsa, made with roasted green tomatoes, bell peppers, and poblano peppers from Sola -- alongside other ingredients from the Co-op -- was donated to the Bucket Brigade, providing their recipients with not just a tasty snack, but also farm-fresh local foods.
The Co-op is proud to be contributing to the Bucket Brigade for another month, and we are humbled to receive so many donations from our owner base. Thank you so much to everyone who donated in July! 

The Co-op donation match is still on! Consider donating to the Bucket Brigade in August and help us reach our goal of 100 buckets!

Have you heard about Solidarity Gardens? Solidarity Gardens is a CU "community-wide initiative for people to grow food for themselves, their neighbors, and their community." With the anticipated increase in food insecurity in our area due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this mutual aid initiative encourages people to plant gardens, share seedlings, tools, underutilized garden plots, educational resources, and find outlets for those with excess homegrown food to distribute to those in need.
Common Ground this past month planted our front planters in collaboration with Solidarity Gardens and is one of numerous community partners who are actively participating in this initiative. Cunningham Township, Channing Murray Foundation, Urbana Free Library, Sola Gratia Farm, Carle, University of Illinois Extension, University of Illinois School of Social Work, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Four Osprey/Champaign-Urbana City Farms, Urbana Park District, Champaign Park District, Urbana School District, McKinley Foundation, First Followers/City of Urbana, Lierman Community Gardens, and countless CU households are currently contributing to this effort and providing garden space.

The harvested foods will benefit the families receiving food from the Bucket Brigade, local soup kitchens, Eastern Illinois Foodbank, thanks to The Channing Murray Foundation, Sola Gratia Farm, and Cunningham Township. The Channing Murray Foundation is currently seeking refrigerators to be donated to store produce. If you have a spare household fridge you are willing to donate, please contact Emily at . To volunteer or participate in this initiative visit .
If you value thorough communication, critical thinking, planning and working with others in a community-oriented environment you could be a great candidate for our Board of Directors! Common Ground Food Co-op is currently looking for 6 new Board Directors for the 2020 election. As a Board Director, you will be a catalyst in our community for change. Prior experience is not necessary; but there are a few requirements all Board Directors must meet.

  • Board candidates must be in "good standing," meaning their full equity is paid to date.
  • Directors serve a 3 year term
  • Directors must be available on Monday evenings from 6:15 pm - 8:15 pm for monthly Board meetings
  • Directors must have access to a reliable computer to utilize Zoom.
  • Board Directors must expect a usual commitment of 8-10 hrs per month.
  • New Board Directors must be available for training in late October and a start date on November 11th, 2020.

Applications are due August 15th. Elections start September 1st and end on September 17th via Meeting of Owners on Zoom. (More information on the MOO to come!)

This position is unpaid, but all Board Directors receive a $80 stipend to use at Common Ground.

Cooperation through community change is what we value and what we want to instill. You can be actively creating this change by working on the Board of Directors.

We are thrilled to have our Prepared Foods department up and running again! We know you have missed our delicious soups, salad bar, and local coffee -- and so have we! Please be aware of the safety procedures we have put in place to ensure sanitation and a safe experience for all.

Before serving yourself at the salad bar, soup wells, or coffee station, always use the provided hand sanitizer.

Please be mindful of physical distancing while waiting to serve yourself in the Cafe area. CDC still recommends maintaining a 6 foot distance whenever possible. 

Remember that masks are still required to enter Common Ground. Be sure your mask is always covering both your nose and your mouth, especially when you are serving yourself or shopping in the bulk foods aisle.

When shopping in the bulk foods aisle, always use the provided hand sanitizer before handling the scoops or tongs

And remember, if you’re not comfortable with the self-service stations, we have tons of pre-packaged grab n’ go options in the cooler! Selections include cold soups, our famous Asian baked tofu, lemon basil pasta salad, and our ever-popular and ever-rotating entrees!
Owner Appreciation Days is coming this September! Common Ground will offer tons of amazing sales, raffles, an exclusive coupon book, and of course, 10% off one purchase! This Owner Days will look slightly different than usual. For optimum safety, we won't be providing samples throughout the store. Most importantly, we are extending Owner Days to last an entire week.  We encourage our owners to maintain their typical grocery shopping schedule to avoid crowds in the store.
Did you know the Co-op kitchen composts its food scraps? We have local farmers and composters collect the food scraps for their personal compost bins each evening.

Are you a local farmer or composter? We are looking for more folks to pick up our kitchen scraps each week.

Thinking about going solar? Solar energy is a great way to reduce your energy bills, support the local economy, and help create a healthier environment!
If you are a Champaign, Piatt, or Vermilion County home or business owner, attend a free, virtual Solar Power Hour webinar on Zoom to learn more about the Solar Urbana Champaign program, an initiative aimed at making solar more accessible and affordable in our community. Come learn about the basics of solar, its financial benefits, and how the solar-group-buy program works. After the session, you can schedule a free, no-obligation site assessment. For more information, click here!

Come join us and see if solar is right for you! 

Contact Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director at MREA with any questions –
We have some new cuisine in the grab and go case!

Local business Stango Cuisine has partnered with us to sell their flavorful items. Check out the items below, one of the most popular, homemade Ginger juice, sold off the shelf in a single day.
Oxtail and Rice
Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Returning are some of your favorites:
  • Colleen's Classic Hummus
  • Tuna Salad
  • Mildly Sassy Salsa
  • So much more!

We also have some new editions !
  • Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Yellow rice
  • Sesame Nori Edamame
  • 3 Layer Taco Dip
  • Kale & Treasures Salad

Be on the look out for more new dishes, plus your old favorites!
These tasty treats are made in-house from scratch.
Vegan Espresso Coffee Cake
Blueberry Banana Bread
Midwest Juicery is back with lower pricing!
Treeline Vegan Cheese
Prairie Fruits Farm-Fleur Du La Prairie Cheese
More New Products:
From Meat and cheese:
  • Di Bruno Bros - Garlic & Herb spread 7.6 oz
  • Divina - Stuffed dolmas grape leaves 7 oz containers
  • Nuestro Queso - Oaxaca balls 10 oz (Mexican mozzarella)
  • Nuestro Queso-Cotija (tub) 5 oz (Mexican parmesan)
  • Applegate Farms - Savory breakfast turkey sausage links (frozen)
  • Smart Chicken - Chicken Franks (Organic)
  • D'Artagnan Sausages- Venison, Pork & cherry sausage, Lamb Merguez, Wild Boar & Sage

From Grocery:
  • La Croix - Limoncello Sparkling Water
  • Forager - Og2 Grain Free Cereal Cinnamon
  • Maxine's - Heavenly cookies in Peanut butter chocolate chunk and Almond chocolate chunk
  • Bootheel - Bar-B-Que Sauce
  • Rise - Organic Oat Milk and Organic Nitro Cold Brew Coffees
  • Enlightened - Marshmallow Peanut Butter Bar and Dark Chocolate Keto Bars
  • So Delicious - Oatmilk Oatmeal Cookie and Peanut Butter Raspberry
  • GT's Kombucha - Pure Cocoyo
  • Forager - Strawberry Cashew Yogurt, Blueberry Cashew Yogurt, Banana Date Probiotic Shake, Strawberry Probiotic Shake
July Round Up For Good: Prairie Rivers Network
In July, we rounded up over $3,200 for Prairie Rivers Network, a local organization dedicated to environmental stewardship and preservation. At Prairie Rivers Network, they protect water, heal land, and inspire change. Using the creative power of science, law, and collective action, they protect and restore our rivers, return healthy soils and diverse wildlife to our local lands, and transform how we as a community care for the earth and for each other.
August Round Up For Good: Sola Gratia Farm
In August, we are rounding up for our closest local farm and non-profit, Sola Gratia Farm. Sola Gratia Farm is a community-based farm dedicated to producing locally-grown, high-quality, natural produce. The farm is committed to helping those who lack adequate food resources by donating a minimum of ten percent of its produce to support regional hunger programs.  The farm promotes healthy lifestyles and community building through volunteering and service, special events and outreach and education programs. 
A farm update from Traci Barkley, Director of Sola Gratia Farm: "As a result of the hail storm on July 11, we sustained extensive damage to our fields resulting in losses to our CSA shares and market revenue. We also sustained damage to the plastic coverings on our greenhouse and both high tunnels and will have to reskin each this Fall. We anticipate funds brought in from the Round-Up For Good Program being used to get these buildings back up to fully functional. The high tunnels allow us to grow in the shoulder seasons and provide fresh, healthy produce for our community year-round and our greenhouse allows us to start all of our seeds in late Winter/early Spring and then transplant as soon as possible in the Spring for a jump start on the season.  

We have been able to maintain a donation rate of over 20% of everything we harvest despite a really rough season including a very late hard freeze in May, flash flooding in June and large and sustained hail in July. Our commitment to feed our food insecure neighbors fresh healthy produce remains the focus of our farm and assistance in the form of donations and funds from the Round-Up Program help us achieve and exceed our donation goals. We're also proud of our part in the development and support of Solidarity Gardens in our community including sharing seeds, garden plants and growing advice and consultation to area gardeners and community gardens committed to sharing produce with our neighbors in need."
Due to COVID-19, all classes and events have been canceled until further notice.
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of August. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.