EDITORIAL | Goosefoot, our hats are off to you

  • Monday, March 6, 2017 1:47pm
  • Opinion

Goosefoot came to the rescue of Senior Services of Island County’s Meals on Wheels program last week when it donated $35,000 for a desperately needed new freezer. The month before, Goosefoot dished out about $30,000 for the South Whidbey School District’s garden program by matching money raised by the community (it did the same thing the year before, donating $26,000). Last September, it gave $25,000 to the Organic Farm School.

And those are just the big-ticket items. 2016 also saw Goosefoot sponsor and hold a series of food and business related workshops, award a $5,000 grant to Good Cheer Food Bank for its Bayview farm, contribute to advertising aimed at supporting local farms — the list seems to go on and on. Currently, it’s working with the Port of South Whidbey to create a bigger, better commercial kitchen at the fairgrounds, potentially pitching up to $75,000 for equipment.

Sometimes, a community’s most precious assets are the easiest to take for granted. They do so much, and so often, it becomes normal and they don’t receive the recognition they deserve. Goosefoot is just such an organization. Time and again, it has proven itself a valuable community partner and a powerful force for good. Its continuing efforts to make South Whidbey a better place deserve praise and public appreciation.

Goosefoot is a nonprofit that’s worked since 1999 to improve the South End’s economy and livability while maintaining rural character, according to the organization’s website. One of its most visible and recognizable faces is The Goosefoot Community Grocer. A partnership between Goosefoot and The Myers Group, the store offers island residents an alternative place to pick up groceries and places an emphasis on local producers. A chunk of profits also support the community with donations such as those above.

And they make a big difference. The Meals on Wheels program, for example, provides more than 6,300 meals a month to seniors who are confined to their homes. The freezer is an essential, albeit pricey piece of equipment the program needs to operate. It broke last year, and Senior Services was struggling to raise the money to replace it. Similarly, the school district’s garden program is widely respected and renowned, making local, state and national headlines for its ingenuity and overall goal to improve student nutrition.

Goosefoot’s efforts in these areas are the result of specific and general goals, including supporting South Whidbey’s food system and enhancing local commerce. But Goosefoot does many other things as well, from running annual events like the Mutt Strut and The Giving Tree — the latter is a fundraiser for local nonprofits — to holding monthly community dances last winter and a series of art shows in 2016. Next week, it’s helping the South Whidbey High School Jazz Band raise money for upcoming trips by hosting the band at a community dance. The event is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 at the Bayview Community Hall.

The idea behind these efforts is to build a sense of place and community. To that end, we think Goosefoot has seen much success. The Mutt Strut in particular has done a wonderful job of bringing people together — it’s well attended, and after 10 years running, is one of the events people look forward to.

Goosefoot is an awesome organization, one that has and continues to make a difference on South Whidbey.

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