March was a big month for us over at the co-op! At the beginning of the month, we held our first community cookout. The next week, we prepped for a historic blizzard and planted the first seeds in the greenhouse. All of this while continuing to serve up hundreds of hot meals to folks every week! Keep reading to hear more details on what we've been up to, and what we're looking forward to.
On Saturday the 6th, we hosted our first outdoor community meal, and served around 200 people! We cooked up burgers, brats, hot dogs, and more, plus we passed out hygiene supplies and clothing. The weather was perfect for a cookout, and we had a great time hanging out in the sunshine with our community!
It's hard to believe that just a week later, winter storm Xylia would hit Colorado with record-breaking snowfall and freezing temperatures. As soon as we saw the forecast, we began preparing by purchasing cold-weather gear, collecting donations, and reserving hotel rooms. A huge thank you to Mutiny Information Cafe and Amethyst Coffee for allowing us to collect warm clothing and survival gear at their cafes. We were able to distribute around 10 car loads full of gear! Funds went towards securing hotel rooms for our most vulnerable neighbors on the streets, and purchasing items like tents, hand warmers, gloves, sleeping bags, and tarps. The community really showed up and provided so much aid. At one point during the blizzard, an unhoused man was offered supplies and he turned them down because so many people had come by with stuff that he had plenty! It's heartbreaking and infuriating that we have to provide emergency aid that the city fails to, yet so inspiring to see the community come together to care for each other.
Amid all of the chaos of the winter storm, we found hope and comfort in the warmth of the greenhouse. The first seeds of the season have sprouted! We are so excited to share these seedlings with you in the coming months. And we can't wait to see what you've grown in the summer and fall at our Gardener's Markets.!You can read more about this project here and order your own seedling tray (at no cost, or for however much you'd like to donate!) on our Open Collective page. We are so thankful that Metro Caring has welcomed us into their greenhouse. You can find out more about their work here.
Another significant moment this month was our decision to pause on accepting new volunteers. As a mutual aid organization, being anti-capitalist is crucial to how we function. Part of this is undoing the desire for constant growth that capitalism embodies. To participate in mutual aid is to offer what you have, receive what you need, and create close relationships with those you interact with. We are taking this intentional step in order to deepen our connections with the comrades we've been working alongside. This way, we can avoid burnout and continue to support our community for years to come.
We accomplished so much in the month of March, and we are incredibly grateful to all of our members, volunteers, and community partners who support our work. We can't do this without you!