Richmond residents buy food for their neighbors one Cool Green Bag at a time
on November 17, 2014
Green bags filled with nonperishable food covered the floor outside of the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry as two staff members carefully sorted through each item.
The bags will feed nearly 150 people for two days. Let’s Grow Richmond, a brand new non-profit organization has already managed to collect about 1500 pounds of foods through its’ new initiative, The Cool Green Bag, dispersing it to hungry families across Richmond.
“It’s a very easy and effective way to get a lot of help for a lot of people,” said Cool Green Bag participant Anne Louise Battle. Battle had been working on filling her bag for the October pick up since she joined the Cool Green Bag program in August.
The Cool Green Bag program has been hailed by Richmond residents for its effective plan to “help feed a neighbor;” simply fill up your green bag every time you go grocery shopping. Over the course of two months, Cool Green Bag participants say that it almost becomes second nature to grab a few extra items and drop them in their green bag as they shop.
Nikki and Nathan Trivers of Point Richmond launched Let’s Grow Richmond this year with the mission of feeding Richmond’s hungry. While it collects and donates food through the Cool Green Bag program, it also grows fresh produce locally to bring to local soup kitchens and partners with local grocery stores to save the thousand of pounds of produce that is wasted every year, recovering it and donating it before it has a chance to spoil.
The Cool Green Bag Program is an idea passed down to Let’s Grow Richmond by Jon and Karen Trivers, Nathan’s parents, who run a non-profit in Paradise, CA called A Simple Gesture. Since opening in 2011, the charity has branched out to Washington state, Tennessee and California towns such as Chico and Gridley. It has collected 500,000 pounds of food.
“I wanted to take the vision of the Simple Gesture and bring it to Richmond,” said Nathan Trivers. “Children are hungry all over the world but if we can just start one community at a time we can actually slowly tick a way at the problem at hand.”
Patricia Davidson, manager at the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry, says she is very excited to see the green bags every two months because they help a lot. The non-profit volunteer food pantry gets the majority of its donations from individuals and groups like Let’s Grow Richmond. Thanks to the uniqueness of the program, families who come to the food pantry are able to get nutritious foods that they have never tried.
“We love the green bag!” said Davidson.
So far about 100 people have signed up to fill the Green Bags. Trivers plans to pick them up and deliver them to the food pantry just in time for the holidays in December.
To get involved in the Cool Green Bag program find Let’s Grow Richmond on Facebook.
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