Big box stores, large franchises, and chains have the resources to reach a massive amount of customers when they move into a neighborhood – but how do they contribute to their communities beyond their store walls?

The East End Food Co-op is a member-owned, full service natural and organic food store that provides nutritious meals to families in Pittsburgh, PA. The only food co-op in Pittsburgh, and one of the few food co-ops statewide, East End is making a substantial impact by not only nourishing customers with local produce from inside their shop, but also nourishing the community with kindness.

The East End Food Co-op celebrated the International Day of Cooperatives on July 7, 2018 with a Random Acts of Kindness Day. The idea was inspired by the #Coops4Kindness campaign and funded by an anonymous donation to the co-op from someone who asked only that their donation be used to “do something good for the co-op.” Ideas for small gestures and kind acts were collected from staff. They included:

  • Giving away 100 stems of flowers purchased from a local farm
  • A kind note writing station with 150 blank cards purchased from the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, a non-profit and Co-op Community Partner located a block away from the Co-op
  • Bulletin board takeover – random acts of kindness ideas posted on the community board
  • Donuts for staff – vegan and gluten free, purchased from a local bakery
  • C4K gift bags – $5 gift cards, gum and chocolate – handed out in a nearby park
  • Double your donation – Register Round Up funds were matched and donated to the American Red Cross Southwest PA to help with relief from flash floods that had taken place in the weeks leading up to the event
  • Membership pledge for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank – $5 for each new member; each $5 donation provided 25 meals

“More than 500 acts of kindness were logged in just one day. It was an amazing way to celebrate what makes Co-ops special through our dedication to Principle 7 Concern for Community” explains Kate Safin Marketing & Member Services Manager at East End Food Co-op.

Beyond their Random Act of Kindness Day, The East End Food Co-op has logged and completed 105,221 acts of kindness towards #Coops4Kindness, including donating over 5,000 lbs of fresh food. Other acts include free fruit giveaways to kids, Register Round Up donations for local nonprofit chapters and organizations, employee appreciation, and more.

To learn more about The East End Food Co-op, visit their website. 

Live in Pittsburgh and want to become a member? Click here!

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