For the past twenty years, The Simple Way has always had some form of food distribution. And we are glad to share food with friends, neighbors, and strangers. In recent years, an ever-increasing number of folks have been lining up in sweltering heat, below-zero cold, and all the in-betweens to receive a bag of food.
Meanwhile, The Simple Way community and organization has experienced transition over the past years. While we’ve continued to share food, we have not been able to be as thoughtful or creative about it as we would’ve liked.
But that changed last month!
As we have found ourselves anew, established a sense of purpose for our current realities, and restored some stability, we have been able to listen to our neighbors, go and visit other organizations, get some training, and think critically about how we want to share food in meaningful ways. We are excited to share that we started a new food cooperative and a food choice pantry this October!
The food cooperative is replicated after Urban Recipe located in Atlanta. We have a small group of neighbors who meet together on a biweekly basis to share their lives, participate in unloading the truck and stocking the shelves in our food pantry, and share food with the group so that each family goes home at least 50 pounds of food. It’s a model that builds relationships and supports food security.
Our food choice pantry is open weekly, and our neighbors are welcome to come in during their appointment time to ‘shop’ for food according to the allocated point total. In our first month since opening, we have filled every slot! Visitors no longer have to wait outside in the elements for over an hour to receive food. They are now able to arrive at their designated time and choose the food their family needs and wants.
These changes have opened more opportunities for us to be with folks in the ways that invite deeper relationships and greater community. It has given space for neighbors to see, listen to, and support each other in beautiful ways. These changes have also given the staff and volunteers encouragement as we work to move toward a greater sense of mutuality.
Thank you for making this work possible with your gifts and donations!