Ceres Community Project
Announces Innovative Partnership with Whole Foods Market
Visit the deli counter in your local Whole Foods Market these days and you are likely to see the Ceres Community Project’s logo adorning at least several of the items. The unique program, which was developed by Team Leaders in the Sebastopol store, has just been extended to all nine stores in Sonoma and Marin.
The items with the Ceres logo are based on recipes from Ceres’ Nourishing Connections Cookbook, which is also available for purchase at each store. Current recipes for sale at Whole Foods Market delis include Tuscan Kale Salad, a Caesar salad-like blend of raw kale, lemon, garlic, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese – one of the top sellers at the Sebastopol store, Fruity Quinoa Salad with goji berries and toasted almonds, White Bean Salad, and Pumpkin Curry Soup with Coconut Milk. Whole Foods Market is donating $1.00 from every pint sold to support Ceres.
“This incredible partnership grew out of the Sebastopol team’s desire to find more ways to support our work,” shared Ceres Executive Director Cathryn Couch. “They wanted to move beyond the in-kind donations we were getting and the occasional 5% days, and create an ongoing way to demonstrate their shared commitment to the work we are doing.”
The non-profit provides free, nourishing and delivered meals to people throughout Sonoma and Marin counties who are struggling with the debilitating effects of a serious illness such as cancer. All of the meals are prepared by teens that learn about growing, cooking and eating fresh, whole foods, gain team and leadership skills, and discover their capacity to contribute to the community.
Since 2007, more than 550 teens from at least 47 schools have participated in the program. Working together they’ve prepared 116,000 meals for hundreds of local families.
For the next three months, Ceres Community Project will also be the recipient of the bag donations from all 5 Whole Foods Market stores in Sonoma County, an estimated $15,000. The stores are pooling the donations to participate as the Presenting Sponsor for Harvest of the Heart, Ceres’ annual fund-raising gala, which takes place August 11 at Shone Farm in Forestville.
Some 250 guests will enjoy wine and appetizers on the beautiful deck overlooking the Russian River valley while they bid on an exceptional selection of wines, restaurants, and unique Sonoma County adventures. A three course dinner prepared and served by Ceres’ teen chefs follows along with a live auction that includes a unique sculpture by artists Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent, a gourmet seven-course dinner served in your home by Chef Rick Goldberg and the Ceres’ teens, sailing on San Francisco Bay and several unique vacations. More information is available at www.Ceresproject.org. Limited tickets are available as most tables are being hosted.
Since 2008, Whole Foods Sebastopol has provided nearly $50,000 in in-kind support as well as $10,000 in cash donations. Ceres program in Marin is benefiting from in-kind donations from the San Rafael store and was recently the recipient – for the second time in two years – of $5,800 from that store’s 5% day.
“Ceres is a perfect fit for us,” noted Sebastopol Store Team Leader Colin Davidson. “We share strong values about healthy eating, community building, and supporting the health of the planet. As Ceres takes their incredible work to more communities across the country, we want to have a way that local stores can partner with them to improve community health.”
Cathryn Couch, Ceres Community Project, firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-799-7489
Noel Johnson, Whole Foods Market, Noel.email@example.com