Round Up For Food Justice

Round Up For Food Justice

What does food justice mean?

Supporting the people that produce, harvest, and prepare our food

Food justice means that everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food and the people who produce, harvest, and prepare our food can earn a decent living by doing so. Buying local at the Co-op contributes to food justice by supporting small farmers and independent producers rather than industrial food system that can take advantage of workers and harm the environment.

However, the higher cost of producing food in socially & environmentally regenerative ways, without help from government subsidies that support corporate agribusinesses, places wholesome, nutrient dense foods out of reach for many in our community. Round Up for Food Justice aims to address this problem by supporting educational programs and organizations that are working to address food injustice.

Supporting the people that produce, harvest, and prepare our food

Food Access in Our Community

Roughly 15 percent of residents in northern Nevada are food insecure, meaning that they do not always have access to adequate nutrition. Of northern Nevada residents who qualify for federal food programs, 59 percent are food insecure.

Food insecure households often face difficult financial choices that may force them to go without meals or buy cheaper processed foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Hunger and poor nutrition can lead to health problems that cost individuals and our community more in the long run.

Food Access in Our Community

Aligned with our values

Round UP for Food Justice reflects one of the Co-op's 7 Cooperative Principles — 'concern for community' and helps us to fulfill our mission of making healthy, nutritious food available to all. To donate, tell your cashier that you want to round up your change for food justice when you checkout.

How Round Up Works

Co-op shoppers have the option of rounding up to their change to the nearest dollar at the cash register after each purchase to make a donation to the program. This creates a pool of funds that is then distributed to individuals, organizations, agricultural start-ups, and others who are working to improve access to wholesome, nutritious food.

The pool of Round Up funds is divided 50/50. With 50% going to organizations approved by the Co-op’s Board of Directors to receive funds throughout the calendar year. The other 50% is retained by the Co-op as a fund to respond to community crisis, in-store programs, and startups that occur during the calendar year. Any funds remaining in the Co-op’s Round Up fund at the end of the calendar year will be donated to the Board’s approved charities.

Those wishing to apply for board approved funds should do so in the 4th quarter of the year for the following calendar year. Those wishing to apply for funds from the Co-ops fund may do so at any time during the year. on the contact form at the bottom of this page.

How Round Up Works
Promoting Our Local Food System

Want more information on our Round Up program?

Activities that we support

  • 01

    Organizations that directly work to decrease food insecurity and hunger

  • 02

    Nutrition, cooking, and gardening (teaching folks to grow their own food) education

  • 03

    Community crisis such as increased houselessness and hunger brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic

  • 04

    Assistance to farmers and ranchers in crisis such as those brought about by the wildfire season in 2020

  • 05

    Assistance to organizations and startups that contribute to increasing our local food supply and that will do so using ethical, sustainable, regenerative practices

Great Basin Food Co-opGreat Basin Food Co-opGreat Basin Food Co-opGreat Basin Food Co-op

Soulful Seeds

Soulful Seeds is one of two board approved Round Up beneficiaries for 2021. Founded by Earstin and Dee Schafer-Whitten, this organization is serious about feeding people and teaching folks to grown their own food. Through their Saint Mary's Garden, they donated thousands of pounds of food to individuals and local charities. They also secured land use agreements with the county to put a 2-acre mini farm on the NNAHMS Campus now known as Our Place. This farm will serve the vulnerable populations living there. Excess food from the Our Place mini farm will be donated to local pantries.

In addition to their core gardening work, they partnered with other local organizations (including Reno Food Systems— highlighted below) to create a Food Insecurity Coalition. The Coalition's purpose is to maximize the amount of food available and to improve distribution to those in need. They were also awarded a CARES grant through the city. Through the grant, they purchased and donated over $17,500 worth of deeply discounted food from your Co-op and other local producers. They also purchased and donated 150 InstaPots to individuals who do not have a traditional kitchen.

Soulful Seeds
Great Basin Food Co-opGreat Basin Food Co-opGreat Basin Food Co-opGreat Basin Food Co-op

Reno Food Systems

Reno food systems is the second of two board approved Round Up beneficiaries for 2021. Their mission is, "Cultivating community based food systems through education, research, and civic engagement." In 2020, your donations helped fund the pilot year of their Mobile Farmers Market Program, which aims to make fresh, healthy, locally grown food more accessible by bringing the farmer's market to communities and individuals with limited access to fresh produce. The program is designed to make it convenient and affordable. The mobile market accepts SNAP/EBT, WIC, and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons. In addition to the vegetables, herbs, and fruits grown on their 5-acre farm, they also distributed gleaned local fruit and offered recipe cards and simple crop preparation information to help customers prepare their produce.

In 2021, they plan to increase locations for their mobile market, offer the double bucks program to EBT customers, work with social service agencies to help inform EBT customers about the market, increase education and food prep demonstrations (as allowed by Covid restrictions), and offer more fruit.

Reno Food Systems

Round Up History

One of our very 1st programs was the Round Up Nutrition and Cooking Course. Beginning the summer of 2016, Round Up launched its first ever 6 week nutrition and cooking course aimed at providing information and resources to folks in need. The courses covered everything from choosing and properly preparing whole grains organic fruits and vegetables, the benefits of grass-fed & pastured meat and dairy over their factory raised counterparts and so much more!

Each course aimed at preparing nutritious meals in a situation where a full kitchen might not be available. We taught folks to use rice cookers, toaster ovens, and portable hot plates to demonstrate how delicious, nutrient dense, affordable meals can be prepared just about anywhere.

Round Up History
affordable, sustainable & wholesome food

Locally grown & community owned since 2005