We work to make fresh produce accessible in the 38126 area.
The Story of THE R.O.C.K. STAND
(By founding member Veyshon Hall)
REORGANIZING OUR COMMUNITY AND KITCHENS
The idea of selling low cost fruits and vegetables began around the cooperative Memphis, (meetup) table. Cooperative Memphis cultivated the idea. While having a membership drive, Laurel ran into me. “After my first meeting, I was left wondering why I hadn’t been involved with something like this before; hmmm (Vey).” We came up with the name ‘ROCK Stand.’ Simply put, reorganizing our community and kitchens. Our goal is simple, yet complex, help the community eat well, improve economic growth, provide fresh, low cost fruits and vegetables; help local growers, create jobs and be a community outreach resource.
The R.O.C.K. opened in February 2014 for a Valentine’s Day giveaway. On a vacant lot with borrowed tables and chairs, 2 people and about $100 worth of fruits and vegetables.
At first people were very suspicious, they didn’t believe we just wanted people to eat better. No matter what we kept coming every Saturday, with the exception of bad weather. There are now 4 employees of the R.O.C.K. and we are making preparations to acquire a vehicle. We want to reach many people. We are a non-profit organization, and we are in it so that everyone may have a better future.
We applied for a grant from Strengthening Communities Initiative, as well as a stipend from AltShop. With this funding we ran a vegetable stand February 2014 until October 2015.
Joined by Sharober Faye and Jessica, we cultivated our team. Together, the four of us outreached via surveys and personal connections. We listened and learned about the desires of this vibrant community.
Our aim for this event is to have a team of five committed 38126 residents, as well as community organization partners, to come together and kick off a cooperative grocery truck that delivers fresh produce. We aim source this produce from local urban farmers when possible.
The ROCK Stand and COOPERATIVE MEMPHIS thank many wonderful and encouraging organizations:
BRING IT FOOD HUB, MID SOUTH PEACE AND JUSTICE, THE GREEN MACHINE, VANCE AVENUE COLLABORATIVE, THE WOMENS CAUCUS, STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES, ALT CONSULTING, AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION’S ANCHOR, and several other organizations. The R.O.C.K. is still growing. We need you to grow even more, your time, your ideas, your strength, guidance, prayers and donations (monetary or otherwise).