October celebrations at the co-op
October is a busy month for the Great Basin Community Food Co-op (GBCFC). It’s National Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Month and National Co-op Month, and the national celebration of Food Day is on Oct. 24.
For National Non-GMO Month, they will be holding a raffle for a bag filled with non-GMO goodies, and if you enter the raffle, you will be helping them to audit their store for GMO labeling. The audit is ongoing and aims to label all of their products that certifiably do not contain any GMOs. If you wish to enter the raffle, you need to find a product that needs a label but does not yet have one or a product that has a label and should not. The winner will be announced on Oct. 30.
“We have completed [auditing] our main sales floor, so all of the groceries, the frozen, the chilled, bulk and produce,” said Nicole Sallaberry, co-founder, and local food and sustainability coordinator for GBCFC. “And then we’re going to be doing the new products as they come in. Upstairs is a little more tricky. There’s a lot of high risk stuff. … There are things labeled upstairs, but we didn’t get through all of the supplements and merchandise and stuff like that.”
The labels are for educational purposes, according to Sallaberry. They also have an education station on the main floor with frequently asked questions about GMOs and GMO-free cookbooks, pins and stickers for sale.
“What we want to do is provide education and resources so that they can make their own decision, and our hope is that consumer demand will change the market,” Sallaberry said.
In addition to the raffle, GBCFC will also give out non-GMO candy to anyone wearing a costume in store on Oct. 30 and 31. Also on Oct. 30, they will be holding a Jack-o’-lantern contest and showing the newly released OMG! GMO movie. Tickets are free, but they are asking for a suggested donation of $5 or more.
In celebration of National Co-op Month, there will be a member-owner drive. Those who participate will receive a tote bag filled with things like free yoga class coupons, a free coupon to the Nevada Museum of Art and coupons for Great Full Gardens and Dandelion Deli. The totes are for anyone who joins this month, any member who refers a friend to join this month, any member who pays at least $20 of their equity this month and any member who is working to help them reach their member loan goal of $210,000.
They will also be giving a special gift to whoever becomes the 6,000th member owner this month.
“It’s one of the highest amounts of members per our sales in co-ops across the country, so we’re giving them 6,000 pennies—so $60—worth of gift cards at the co-op and then Campo has matched that,” said Jolene Cook, general manager of GBCFC.
And in honor of Food Day, GBCFC is having a party with local music, an art exhibition of photos from their Seedling Sale, free beer and food from 5 to 9 p.m. There will also be 10 percent off to all members all day long.