We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.Cesar Chavez
We are indeed living in trying times, and it’s been hard to feel hopeful while feeling hopeless. However, right now, more than ever, we have to be resourceful and community-oriented. This pandemic isn’t an invitation to act like an entitled jackass. Instead, look at how you could help your local economy thrive. Your dollars help your community by staying in your community. As always, practice proper social distancing and only send healthy people in your family out to get food.
Support your local farmers market
I know, not groundbreaking, but I cannot stress this enough, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKET!! This past Sunday, I found other fresh veggies and fruit, but I didn’t need them, and there isn’t any need to hoard food. tamale guy, but I was already stocked up. This small but mighty farmers market had a gluten-free pastry booth, a place for pet stuff, dried fruit and nuts, and even someone selling hand sanitizer and laundry detergent. I ended up with smoked Hungarian sausage which was later devoured for a late breakfast, a few shampoo/body bars, oranges, and apples.
These folks work so hard to bring the fruits of their labor to us. Thank them with your patronage. Don’t forget your reusable bags!
Support your local small business
Plumbers, electricians, car mechanics, dog walkers, housekeepers, landscapers, I mean the list goes on and on. Many will forget that these folks need our business, too. Skip the Starbucks and get a cup of coffee to go from your local coffeehouse, if possible. Small business doesn’t only mean brick and mortar. I have found many people offering their services through NextDoor. Plenty of people have also had to restructure their businesses/work schedules and are looking for ways to make money. I’ve seen ads for gutter cleaning, babysitting, scooping dog poop, and even laundry service. If you can swing it, help your neighbor out!
Support your local diners, restaurants, bakeries, and eateries (whew, the food places!!)
Despite it all, we live in a time where you can order food from your phone! Remember having to text using a flip phone. *SHEESH* In many ways technology has hindered us, and it has also BLESSED us. That same thing you use to look at cat videos can also get food delivered to your house in under an hour. Right now, our local eateries are counting on us to park our asses on the couch and order take out. What a country! Between the three adults in the house, we have ordered food at least three times a week. It helps me save some of the food (never thought about it that way, did you?); therefore, I don’t have to go and “hunt” for it later. Make it part of the food budget, and you’ll be fine. Also, please don’t forget to tip well.
Get $15 off (that's $5 off your first 3 orders) with Doordash!
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Support your neighborhood bodegas, and tienditas
When the big box stores looked like a scene straight out of Mad Max, a little hole-in-the-wall tiendita in my neighborhood had ALL the pantry essentials.
“But they are more expensive!!”
Hey, I didn’t say it was going to be cheaper. Right now, it’s about getting what you need AND making the least amount of trips to get your pantry essentials. I will gladly pay an extra dollar for everything if it means I don’t have to run to six different stores. That dollar markup seems reasonable. One thing people forget too is that tienditas and bodegas are a great place to get ready to eat meals, and the bigger ones usually have a carniceria (that’s a meat market/butcher shop). We left with beans, tortillas, some canned goods, and an array of spices. The woman behind the counter was super grateful as was I for leaving with a bag of goodies.
Think you can’t afford to support your local economy? Think again.
Even if you can’t purchase anything yourself, spread the word. I didn’t know that our local farmers market was still going. I figured they would be the first to pack up and go. A simple search on localharvest.org hooked me up with all the information I needed, and then I spread that information everywhere! Our local police department also put together a list for its residents of all open businesses in our area. It’s been quite helpful to those who can’t always make it through a long supermarket line. You could start a list for your neighborhood and post it online. Information is gold!
One more thing…
Well a few more things. This isn’t the time to hang out in the aisles, or to turn a grocery run into a family outing. It ain’t cool! And I know, we are all going stir crazy, but in a close space we need LESS people. If you’re waiting in line, make sure to practice social distancing. YES, even when you’re outside in line waiting to get inside of the store. The other day, I busted a U-turn when I saw a long line of people standing way too close to one another waiting to get inside my local Trader Joe’s. They all had masks and gloves but somehow didn’t think they had to keep their distance. Mind-boggling!
This also isn’t the time to touch every piece of produce. You touch it; you buy it. Many stores have hand sanitizing wipes and automatic hand sanitizer dispensers. USE THEM. At the farmers market, vendors are happy to assist you. Leave your pets at home, too.
…and if you are sick, please get someone else to do the shopping for you.
Thank your local farmer, farmworker, cashier, vendor, delivery food driver, and the store owner. We need them and they need us. We are in this together.
Stay clean, stay safe, and stay positive.
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