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SHARE holds classes as it gets closer to opening co-op grocery store

SHARE holds classes as it gets closer to opening co-op grocery store
June 14
05:00 2018

As SHARE Cooperative of Winston-Salem gets closer to its goal of opening a co-op grocery store at West Salem Shopping Center on Peters Creek Parkway, its already holding cooking classes and other events there.

SHARE (Supplying Honest and Respectful Engagement), an initiative of Freedom Tree at IDR (Institute for Dismantling Racism), is planning to sign a lease for a long-vacant space at the shopping center that used to be home to a Food Lion. The plaza is on the corner of West Academy Street and Peters Creek, which is a food desert where fresh, healthy food isn’t readily available. The store, Harvest Market, will be a co-op in which people buy memberships that will give them a vote in how the store is run, and profits will be reinvested in the community. SHARE currently has 235 members.

“We’ve come a long way,” said SHARE Organizer Rev. Gary Williams. “We started this journey two years ago and there are very well meaning people in Winston-Salem who want to see this happen.”

Williams said he expects construction to start in a matter of weeks and hopes the store will open by year’s end. SHARE’s latest appeals for funds include requests to the city and county. The nonprofit received $5,000 in the county’s 2018-2019 budget; it requested $200,000.

SHARE plans for Harvest Market to be a full service grocery store that everyone can shop at, not just members. There will be food purchase subsidies available to those who participate in healthy eating classes and are involved with the store.

SHARE is not waiting for the store to open to start those classes and is holding them at its office, located on the side of the plaza at 603 Peters Creek Parkway. The nonprofit is also holding a farmers market in the plaza’s parking lot on Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in hopes of cultivating relationships with local farmers whose produce the store might carry.

While no farmers set up last Saturday, June 9, SHARE did host a family cooking class held by Kohl’s Cooks Mobile Kitchen.  The mobile kitchen is an outreach of Brenner FIT (Families in Training), a comprehensive pediatric weight loss program at Brenner Children’s Hospital, and is sponsored by Kohl’s with additional funding from the Mebane Charitable Foundation. It holds family cooking classes at places around the community to teach families healthy habits.

“Instead of people coming to the hospital, like when they’re really sick, the hospital is trying to go to people in the community,” said DeOnna Gray, community health program manager with Brenner FIT.

Culinary instructor N’Gai Dickerson led Saturday’s class, which taught how to prepare a black bean pita, which participants got to eat and take home all the leftovers. Clara Phelps was the only child to participate with her mother, Lisa, who is a co-op member. Clara enjoyed the class and wanted to come back and do it again.

“It was fun,” said Clara, “Now I know how to cook something.”   

The mobile Kitchen will return to SHARE on June 30 at 10:30 a.m. for a Spanish language cooking class.

Farmers interested in participating in SHARE’s farmers market can email details@nullshare-ws.coop

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