Jungle Fever: An Adventure in Co-Ops & Raw Food

Do we remember how that Raw Food Detox Diet book was dropped off at a house where I was staying? Well, that same household has since then both joined a co-op and bought a juicer. This has been my homebase for the last week or so.Now, these are not your average juicer co-op healthy eating kind of people. I believe this morning there were two “Garbage Burritos” ordered for breakfast take out. Not exactly raw, but whatever. Flip to the fresher side of things– approximately one week post-juicer. We have juiced many tiny mountains of fruits and vegetables and have made tons of fibrous pulp food. This has to be the healthiest that this group of people has ever eaten. Its an amazing experiment.

But surprise, surprise, as I go along my merry path to better health and self, I stumble upon a volunteer component to it all. Apparently, at the People’s Food Co-op in Southeast Portland, if you donate 3 hours of your time per week you get a 15% discount on your groceries.

Say what? I can do that! and it would be helpful to so many more people than just myself and the co-op. My friends could also benefit from my service through cheaper groceries.

So, of course, I chatted with one of the cashiers about the household volunteering at the co-op. She let me know how it worked. Apparently, they run 3-hour shifts where volunteers clean up, stock, do dishes, close the shop etc. Do one of these shifts each week and you get the discount on your groceries. I inquired about the possibility of high-skilled volunteer opportunities as well, which may be more fitting for some of the computer geeks in the group. This was also something the co-op was willing to accommodate.

After I spoke with the household and affiliates, it seems like we would like to volunteer in teams of two every other week to get into the swing of things. We could get to know the program better and see if we like working there. I promised to go to any volunteer shifts that people “forgot about” or couldn’t make, since I have the time to do so.  I’ve also been charged with communicating our interest back to the co-op. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cheers to fresher living.

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