May Community Change Recipient

This month, Growing Food Growing Health is The Merc Co+op’s Change for our Community Program Recipient, which gives co-op shoppers the opportunity to donate their pocket change to local community organizations each time they shop. 

The Growing Food Growing Health Garden at West Middle School was established in 2010 and has produced over 22,000 lbs. of beautiful, sustainably grown fruits and veggies. This year the goal of the GFGH garden at West is to grow and donate 2,000 lbs of food, all of which will be donated directly to Just Food to help feed our community. 

Established in 2018, the Growing Food Growing Hope garden at First Step at Lake View – a residential addiction treatment center for women and their children – provides food for the kitchen and a healing space for residents. This year we have added an orchard and are planning a new Children’s Garden for the on-site daycare.

Both of these garden projects are overseen by Community Mercantile Education Foundation (CMEF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. CMEF is a sister organization to the Merc Co+op.  The mission of CMEF is to nourish and inspire personal well-being, strengthen community connections, and support sustainable, local food systems. We fulfill our mission by creating beautiful and productive gardens, developing youth leaders, and using food as a transformative path to health. To learn more about the gardens, visit our website.

We’ll be at the co-op sharing our story throughout the month, so be sure to stop in and say hello!

Laura Marsh