February 2019
Don't let the cold weather get you down!
In this month's newsletter:

  • A Word from the General Manager
  • Next Board Meeting
  • ValenWines Day Tasting Event
  • Friday Feast: Shepherd's Pie
  • This Month's Meal Kit
  • Co-op Seed Swap
  • Plant Sale Needs Volunteers
  • Seasonal Reminders
  • New Items
  • Food as an Important Factor in Uniting and Rehabilitating Communities
  • Round Up For Good
  • Upcoming Classes
From the GM
Gary Taylor, General Manager
Read Gary's February piece on activities and events to look forward to this month, including the opportunity to volunteer and grow seedlings for this year's Plant Sale.
The Next Board Meeting
The next meeting of the Board of Directors is Monday, Febuary 11 from 6:15 to 8:15 pm at First United Methodist Church of Urbana. Owners are welcome and encouraged to attend.
ValenWines Day Tasting Event
Learn about wine production, regional flavors, and taste delicious wines!
Join us for a ValenWines Day Tasting on Friday, February 8 from 6 to 8pm in our mall hallway.

We've invited local wine experts to pour some of our favorite wines and talk about wine production and regional flavors as they pour!

We're pairing the wines with cheeses, chocolates, and charcuterie which will all be on sale. You can also buy one bottle of wine and get the second half off!

Tickets: $15 per person. Purchase online here , at checkout next time you shop, or at the event. Must be 21 or older to attend. Please bring your photo ID to ease entry.
Friday Feast: Shepherd's Pie
Finally, a meal that's healthy, delicious, and affordable.
This month's Friday Feast event is Friday, February 22 from 5 to 7 pm near the Café! We're serving Shepherd's Pie dinner.

Friday Feast is a monthly Co-op event, which features a meal that is healthy, delicious, and affordable. Each meal will incorporate local and seasonal food and always include a meat and vegan option. Recipes from each meal are made available as the Meal Kit of the following month, to be made at home.
February Meal Kit: Vegan Harvest Grain Bowl
Each month you can order a 4-serving Meal Kit and pick it up on the designated day. We shop for all the ingredients and you bring it home to cook.

This month’s recipe is Vegan Harvest Grain Bowl , featuring only fresh produce and Co+op Basics items.

Pick-up date is Wednesday, February 13th, from 10 am and 6 pm in the Flatlander Classroom.

Order your kit online here .
Co-op Seed Swap
Because gardening is a year-round activity.
It's that time again. You can start planning your garden, trading seeds with your neighbors, and learn tips and tricks to successful seed starting and transplanting, during our annual Co-op Seed Swap. Join us on Saturday, February 16th, from noon to 2pm in our Co-op Mall Hallway and can share seeds with others or collect some new ones for yourself. Have a friend that also loves gardening? Bring them, too!
Volunteer to Grow Plants with Us
The Plant Sale is Saturday, May 4th
Calling all volunteers and plant lovers!

We need your help to grow seedlings for our 11th Annual Plant Sale Fundraiser, which takes place on Saturday, May 4th. We provide the seeds and cells and you provide the soil, lights, and care!

The success of the plant sale is very important to us and the community, as our Food for All program is made possible through most of its proceeds. Food for All funds equity grants, food discounts, and class discounts for those in need of financial assistance.

Keep an eye out for more information and save the date: Saturday, May 4th.

Want to volunteer to grow seedlings? Email us!
Seasonal Reminders
As we move into winter, our local vendors start experiencing some seasonal out-of-stocks with popular items.

  • The cold weather makes it difficult for our local farmers to produce eggs and goat milk. Expect limited availability for these items until the Spring.
  • Our local fresh herb selection will be very limited probably through February.
  • Likewise local greens availability, including the very popular Blue Moon salad mix (stocked in produce and our salad bar) will fluctuate until March.
New Items Around the Store
February Café feature: Raspberry Mocha >>>
  • Co-op Made chocolate & raspberry syrup
  • Served with your choice of milk
  • 12 oz $4.49
  • 16 oz $4.99 

New local cheese from Green Meadow:
  • Located in Sumner, IL (89 miles away)
  • Made with non-GMO cow's milk
  • We will carry Jersey Gold Cheddar, Jersey Gold Sharp Cheddar, Barbie's Choice, and Jalapeño. 

New eggs from Whistling Hen Farms beginning 2/14:
  • Located in Bellflower, IL (25 miles away)
  • Free range & antibiotic-free Chickens
  • Pasture-fed with clover, alfalfa, & oats in the growing season
  • Non-GMO & chemical-free corn and soy feed

New Co-op Bakery items:
  • Lemon Raspberry Bread (vegan)
  • Wheat-free Blondies (with sprinkles or chocolate chips) 
  • Wheat-free Honey Cake 
  • Chocolate Coffee Espresso Cake (vegan) 
  • Lemon Squares 
  • Wheat-free Macaroons with a chocolate drizzle  
  • Valentines Day Specials include: Flourless Chocolate Cake and Mixed Berry Pie

Our Co-op Bakery is located in the Co-op Kitchen, where all of our delicious Co-op foods are made from scratch, with love, with local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
The Café now offers biscuits & gravy, Co-op Made from scratch every day and available from 9-11am. We have local Moore Family Farm sausage gravy, as well as our Co-op Made vegan gravy.

New Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Certified B Corporation, Certified Bird-friendly coffee from Birds & Beans Coffee
  • We will carry Scarlet Tanger, Chestnut-Sided Warbler, Wood Thrush, American Redstart

New CBD items from Tribe to Table located in Wellness
  • Tribe to table is a community made up of the established relationships of over 50 tribes across North America.

Caramel Color Removal
Small update from our bulk spices company
"In keeping with our ongoing commitment to provide our consumers with the highest quality possible, we have taken the initiative to remove caramel color from all Frontier Co-op and Simply Organic brand products.

Products affected include Frontier Co-op Bac'Uns, Seafood Season and Simply Organic Gravy Mixes."
Jeff (22-year volunteer at Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Owner #262)
" Our mission [at Daily Bread Soup Kitchen] is to feed the hungry of our community regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. We provide a friendly, respectful, and inviting environment in an atmosphere of hope and dignity. In addition to physically feeding people we strive to give people a place where they can have positive human contact every day. We are entirely volunteer run and depend on donations from individuals, businesses and local grants.

Over the years, the CU community has supported us in various ways. Also, we have hundreds of incredible volunteers that make it possible for us to operate 7 days a week. We rely on many retired and older volunteers who are critical to our success. In the long-run we will need new volunteers to step up and help us continue our mission.

We also need to keep spreading the word about us. The funding that comes from the Round Up For Good program goes toward our day-to-day expenses: purchasing food (most of food is donated but we need to pay for certain items), utilities, building maintenance, expenses for vehicles used for food pick-ups, etc. We do a lot of our grocery shopping at the co-op. We like being able to support a local organization which shares many of our values. "

Visit the Humans of the Co-op website to see all our Humans.
Food as an important factor in uniting and rehabilitating communities
Amidst the worry and uncertainty of food security in January, one thing was certain: we were reminded of how food brings people together. From California to Texas and everywhere in between, many different communities were reviving the idea of how food has the power to bring people together from all walks of life, different political backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and other identities that would otherwise separate them.

This past January, during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, the future of food assistance programs such as SNAP, school lunches, and the WIC food and nutrition service was uncertain, and still is. However, it was also during this time that different communities of people took it upon themselves to feed those affected by the lack of food security during the partial government shutdown.

  • Humanitarian-chef José Andrés offered free meals at all of his D.C. restaurants to feed furloughed federal employees who had no source of income during the government shutdown.
  • Andrés explains his motivation for this action: "I have friends of both parties, and when we are around the table, somehow, everybody knows where to find common ground. And we respect each other, and that’s the way it should be—in America or anywhere around the world. If anybody’s hungry, we will be there."
  • In San Antonio, a local Sikh temple also fed furloughed federal workers over the course of three days. Balwinder Dhillon, President of the Sikh Center of San Antonio, explains the temple’s motivations for this action:
  • “We don’t worry about one community. We all belong to one race, which is the human race. We think we are all brothers and sisters and we need to support each other no matter who we are.”

We were also reminded that food brings people together during times of rehabilitation and recovery as well.

  • Flint, Michigan, a town that is currently experiencing one of the nation's worst public health crises, is re-imagining its food system, as multiple healthy food initiatives encourage the city's recovery. Flint Farmers' Market is thriving, as 45 year-round vendors and 30 seasonal ones come together to provide access to nutrition to more than half a million people throughout the year.
  • Other healthy food initiatives include: the Nutrition Prescription Program, Flint Kids Cook, Double Up Food Bucks, and Flint Fresh.
  • In North Royalton, Ohio, residents of Woodrow Project are conquering addiction through farming as they maintain sobriety by planting seeds. Jacque Jones, one of eight residents who live at Woodrow Project, explains the importance of growing food during her rehabilitation:
  • "Agriculture has been my life, all my life. I'm a farmer's daughter. So it's a gift, for me, to be given an opportunity to teach and live here and be able to have my chickens and be able to help women in recovery."

Overall, January showed how, especially in times of crisis, uncertainty and recovery, food is an important factor in building, uniting, and rehabilitating communities.

If you're interested in reading more on the subject, here are a few different articles:

Round Up for Good Update
We finished out the year strong

  • Last December, you helped raise $4,014.09 for Crisis Nursery. Its mission is to "create an 'Island of Safety' dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect." Thank you for helping such a worthy cause.
  • In January, together we raised over $3,700 for the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen. Your donations were especially helpful during the government shutdown, because of the increased traffic.

2018 Round Up for Good Total
Thanks for helping foster a vibrant, inclusive community

  • The 2018 Round Up For Good Total was $51,140.22. Round Up For Good is a call-to-action inspired program, which began in February 2010 when Common Ground owners expressed a desire to help fund the relief of the earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the program has transformed into a community-focused ongoing effort to help fund local organizations that are selected democratically by store owners.

While we round up for the Champaign County Humane Society, we're also trying to find forever homes for long-term shelter cats.
February: Champaign County Humane Society

Champaign County Humane Society is located on Main St & Art Bartell Rd in Urbana, providing open-admission shelter for dogs, cats, and other animals.

Champaign County Humane Society’s mission is “to instill respect, kindness, and compassion for animals as community values."

Its purpose is:
  • Preventing cruelty to animals
  • Promoting animal welfare
  • Educating the public about the humane care and treatment of animals
  • Increasing public awareness of the companion animal overpopulation issue and to provide solutions
  • Providing high quality shelter, medical, and adoption services for animals when necessary

You can also volunteer or donate; visit www.cuhumane.org.
Kitties of the Co-op: Samantha

Could you or someone you know be her forever home?

Samantha is 8 years old. She's a little shy and independent. She is sweet and would be a great companion for someone who would respect her decision to give them affection on her own terms. Samantha would be a great girl to keep your lap warm during the winter months.
February Classes & Events

See what's new for the month of February in our classes email.

You can always sign up online or in-store and classes are listed on the class calendar.
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 February. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.