This year at GRuB, we wanted to work with more partners that share a similar mission to our growing healthy food, people, and community, one of helping people that need it, whether it was by food or community. One of those partners is CIELO (Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia). CIELO’s mission is to promote community, self-sufficiency, and leadership of Latinos in South Puget Sound. Their mission resonated with GRuB, with it being similar to our own. CIELO offers many different services to provide opportunities for people to acquire skills and resources like education, counseling, advocacy, food bank services, and much more!
GRuB and CIELO had a sit-down meeting in February, discussing our organizations, goals and ideas for collaboration. Our Food Distribution Coordinator, Billie Edwards, was excited to learn more about their program and how she could help with their mission statement, and our own. She and other GRuB staff volunteered on CIELO’s food bank days, trying to help in whatever way and learn what we could bring to help others. Billie noticed less produce available at the food bank site and wanted to change that. So every month since April, Billie, with the youth farm team, and GroundED worked hard to have beautiful produce for them, whether it was planting, weeding, or harvesting. GRuB provided CIELO this year with radishes, carrots, squash, corn, tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, etc. The GRuB farm sent off hundreds of pounds of food to CIELO this year, and Billie is excited to supply them with more next year!
Also this year with CIELO, this past Spring GRuB Team members coordinated with CIELO for their Annual Earth Day Event. The day was full of exciting activities, yummy food, crafts, and garden fun. We led a plant scavenger hunt for kids and hosted an info table with gardening resources and tea from the Wild Foods and Medicines program. We also built a small garden and planted culturally relevant plants in collaboration with CIELO. Three raffle winners were the recipients of 3 garden beds built during the garden season by our Garden Project team! It was a joyous day of celebration and community, and we are so grateful for our relationship with CIELO and our continuation for more fun things like this in the future!