Create Positive Change
Each time you shop at the co-op, you have a chance to directly support local community partners by donating your 10-cent reusable bag credits and rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It may only be a few cents or spare change, but your generosity makes a huge impact — to the tune of over $10,000 each month for our Positive Change recipients!
Helping Families Move from Survive to Thrive
December’s Positive Change recipient is Neighborhood House, a nonprofit that provides support to families in times of transition. They offer free services including access to healthy food, basic needs, housing, education, and jobs. They also offer multiple youth, health and well-being programs. In doing so, they help people gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence to thrive in diverse communities.
Since 1897, Neighborhood House has served as a multicultural, multilingual resource network for Saint Paul’s immigrants, refugees, and low-income families. They got their start over 120 years ago helping Eastern European Jewish immigrants settle in the Saint Paul area. Over the years, they have worked with families from over 50 cultural and ethnic populations, many that have just moved to Minnesota. They now have six locations throughout Saint Paul and assist over 15,000 people each year.
Their Food Support Program provides fresh, healthy, culturally appropriate food to participants. It consists of two food markets and fresh produce distribution events. At the food markets, staff and interns are able to speak over ten languages, and the shopping experience is used as an opportunity to teach people about nutrition and cooking. Taste tests, preparation instructions for unfamiliar foods, and recipes translated into Spanish, Hmong, and Karen are also provided to participants. Over 12,000 people visit the food markets annually.
Produce distribution events occur monthly at five Neighborhood House locations across Saint Paul during May through September. During the year, an additional 5,600 people participate in these events. Set up like farmers markets with fresh fruits, vegetables, and bread, they have been so successful that Neighborhood House now holds produce distribution events monthly from November through May at Metropolitan State University on Saint Paul’s East Side.
Funds donated at registers in December will support Neighborhood House’s Food Support Program, ensuring food insecure families have access to healthful food and nutrition education.