SHARE-WS Cooperative | March 2020
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Monthly Edition  |  March 2020
SHARE needs your help!

The Cutting Edge

Here at SHARE, we've talked a lot about the effects of food insecurity on our young population in Winston-Salem. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we'd like to take a moment to highlight some of the cutting edge work that our fellow Forsyth County organizations are doing to support a population in need.

Local Food Distribution Programs

Just last month, SHARE wrote about the fact that over 20% of children in Forsyth County are food insecure, and now that school is suddenly out of session, many of these kids lose the guaranteed breakfast and lunch that they receive from school cafeterias. 

Thankfully, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools recognized this problem early on, and have put procedures in place to keep our children fed. That's why every weekday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., more than 40 WS/FCS schools are offering "Grab n' Go" breakfast and lunch for any child who shows up. Scroll down to see the full list! 

SHARE also wants to give a shout out to our friends at HOPE of WS, who have continued to do vital work with their weekend meal and produce distribution program, and by instituting weekday food distribution as well.

It's important to highlight our partner organizations for two reasons: first, if you're in need, reach out! We at SHARE are happy to be a food security resource for you, or to point you to others who can help. Second, if you're healthy and able, volunteer some of your time to one of these organizations, so that we can ensure everyone in Forsyth County is still eating during these hard times.


Sowing the Seeds of Cooperation
These are, without a doubt, unprecedented and hard times. In our February Newsletter, I began by saying that people don't like change. I was writing about SHARE's entry into the food landscape of Winston-Salem, and the changes it would cause. Of course, I had no idea of the far bigger changes that March had in store for all of us. Nonetheless, SHARE is persisting, and we recognize that the need for fresh, affordable, healthy food is now greater than ever. 

What We're Doing Now

For the past two weeks, SHARE has been practicing the social distancing, telework, and shelter-in-place policies that our governments have recommended. It's tough not to be in the office during such a crucial time for our nonprofit, but we recognize the importance of flattening the curve.

Ultimately, SHARE sees this as an opportunity to pause, to take stock, and to ensure that we're organized and prepared to hit the ground running as soon as our worlds return to normal. 

Where We're Headed Next

This past month, our Member-Owners voted overwhelmingly that SHARE should begin its final stage of "Implementation" to finish the Harvest Market. Our Member-Owners also voted on our incoming Board of Directors, the results of which we'll announce in the coming days.

As tough as this crisis has been for us, SHARE knows that it is tougher for our low-income, and our black and brown populations. These are the very populations that SHARE is driven to serve through its Harvest Market, and we will not stop until this mission is realized. So rest assured, the Harvest Market will still open, and we'll look forward to seeing you walk through our doors!

Support a neighbor; support someone in need; support SHARE!

Your friends at,

SHARE Cooperative
Interested in our Preferred Shares Program? Contact Ralph Peeples at or (336) 283-3299! 
The Reverend's Corner

The March issue of the Reverend's Corner comes at a time of utter challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. In last month's newsletter, Gary called out our society for what it was and is:
"My society has racism.  The most serious stage. Racism is likely to kill my society. My society can survive racism against all odds.  I prepared myself to fight. I looked past what could harm me in the fight to see all that could bring me joy if I survived…"

Kendi, Ibram. (2019). How to Be an Antiracist. New York: One World, page 235 

This pandemic is unprecedented in its impact on our collective lives right here in Winston-Salem. I am reminded of the message I preached when the Ebola virus was circling the globe. It is appropriate for this pandemic as well. I paraphrase: 

It's just been discovered that there's a bad 'mamma jammer' of a virus...It's worse than COVID-19, but this is not a new virus...As long as the rich have ruled the land this virus has been present...It has just changed with time. When you get it, it doesn't kill you like COVID-19 can. No, it is much worse because it makes a zombie out of become one of the walking dead. 

Many have fallen prey to its appeal: professionals, businessmen, educators, government officials, nonprofits, not to mention politicians and even church folk have fallen to its overwhelming power. 

I looked up the word zombie and found this: "an offensive term for a person considered to lack energy, enthusiasm, or the ability to think independently." 

The fact is, most people's actions don't match their convictions, causing what Paul professed in his letter to the Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do." 

The startling truth is that most Americans have fallen prey to an economy that teaches them the common sense of global capitalism: "Everyone is out for themselves and will seek to advance their own interests without regard to your wellbeing, so the only rational path is for you to seek to advance your own interests in the same way." 

With that said, SHARE Cooperative is an intentional community of Member-Owners committed to providing food and services to places with food insecurity. However, we are conscientious that this is not an act of charity, but a movement for a more inclusive business model, one that combats that common sense of global capitalism.

In response to the pandemic, I thought local grassroots minister Rev. Terrance Hawkins said it best:

"Many will claim the mantle of 'heroes' and 'saviors' during this moment as they engage in charity work. I don't pretend to know their heart motives, but they'll certainly end up on the news for their good works, and pictures of them serving will be spread all over the Internet. Some of these same folks are the ones who 'pooped' on Black, brown and indigenous communities at the polls and have been cheerleaders for unjust policies that disproportionately impact our communities." 

Beloved, take the food and other items if you need them, but remember what the African theologian Augustine said: "Charity is no substitute for justice withheld."

We have a claim for justice that no handout can erase, and I encourage us all to relentlessly pursue deep structural change that will bring it into being.

I am not anti-relief work. I'll be out here daily trying to serve. I'm simply saying that this moment calls for mutual aid AND a confrontation of the Powers that have far too long trampled on underserved communities and left us uniquely vulnerable. 

We, as individuals, struggle with old ways; we can also now work diligently through SHARE to define a new way, one that mitigates food insecurity in the process.

Remember, food insecurity is a grave problem in our community. It robs a cluster of folks of the strength to help make our community better.

SHARE doesn't solicit your charity; we solicit your whole being to help make our community inclusive and workable for everybody. 

Rev. Willard Bass

James 5: 1-9

Co-ops have a history of supporting their local communities, and SHARE is committed to doing the same right here in Winston-Salem. Let's end food waste and food insecurity together!
Visit us at 603 Peters Creek Parkway and follow us on social media! 

SHARE Cooperative of Winston-Salem, NC
Our email address is:
office: 336-283-3299 

Copyright © 2020 SHARE Cooperative of Winston-Salem, NC, All rights reserved.

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