#FullyFundRCC

We’ve had some wonderful stories about our efforts in local media lately and we wanted to share some of them!

Allen Johnson is impressed with our progress and calls on people across Greensboro to support the RCC:

[The RCC community] continue to have their stuff together. Meetings are focused and professional. Typed agendas are detailed and thorough, including a clear accounting of how much money they have, how much they’ve spent and how much more they need. …

I hope the rest of Greensboro appreciates how hard these neighbors are working to help themselves.

And decides to join in.

The Triad City Beat has published several positive stories recently. Sayaka Matsuoka covered our film screening on March 2nd:

The community banded together to create the co-op to make this grocery store a reality. Watching the film, it is obvious how much time and effort has gone into achieving this. Folks recounting their memories of shopping in the once bustling strip mall to dreaming of its resurgence in the future is hopeful and captivating. Every one of the interviewees talks with clear enthusiasm and passion. Many stepped in to support the community-driven grocery store early on and have been instrumental in organizing support. …

Both people inside and outside of the Phillips Avenue area pitched in to fund the venture, showing that the Renaissance Community Co-op is a true testament to what can happen when passionate people come together.

Jordan Green spoke to Ernestine Surgeon, an RCC Owner and community leader for his piece titled “A dream so tantalizing we can taste it“:

The curb markets that seem to proliferate wherever poor people live send a sad message.

“You’re telling the children you go straight from the juice to the soda to the beer,” Surgeon said. “It’s not that many of us that need to be drunk, drinking and inebriated.” …

The dream — Surgeon’s, her neighbors and, for that matter, people all across the city — seems so close, so tantalizingly within reach. The Renaissance Community Co-op grocery store is expected to open across the street from Claremont Courts at the Shops at Renaissance Plaza this fall.

“This has been a challenge,” Surgeon said. “I’m up for the fight. I’m not going to stop believing this is going to happen.”

Eric Ginsburg reported on the developing negotiations between the RCC and the City. Council member Marikay Abuzuaiter said:

“I want to make it clear that I would like to see us give the co-op whatever they need to maintain themselves,” she said. “We’ve got to get rid of our food deserts, and I’ve always been so supportive of the community coming together and pursuing this. How can we not?”

And Yes! Weekly published their powerful editorial titled “Renaissance Co-op: Make it Happen.” We appreciate the strong support and hope you take a moment to read the full text shared below.

The divide between Big Government and community empowerment was on display again this week in the Gate City when it came to light that the city will breathlessly spend $2.2 million on engineering work for an estimated $23 million expansion of water and sewer lines into another county, while at the same time city leaders said they might not quite be able to find $600,000 in loans and grants to fully fund the Renaissance Co-Op grocery store out on Phillips Avenue.

The Renaissance Co-Op is a community-driven initiative to bring a grocery store to one of Greensboro’s largest food deserts in the city’s northeast quadrant. It’s planned for the site of the former Bessemer Center, a rundown shopping strip behind a modern city library on Phillips Avenue. The city secured an agreement last year to sell the property to Self Help, a community development lender, to bring life to the plaza that has been vacant for 15 years.

Co-op supporters have secured $1.1 million of the $1.7 million needed to make the grocery store a reality. The co-op would be a for-profit enterprise that could bring jobs, profits and wealth building to a community often overlooked by the glitz of downtown development and the lure of megamillions for real estate developers out on the city’s greenfield fringe.

We realize that the city does not have a limitless supply of money. We can acknowledge that the funds for the water and sewer line will come from specific trust accounts.

But we’ve also watched the city dole out hundreds of thousands of dollars to stuffed suits for repetitive projects across the economic development spectrum.

Developing a healthier community in one of the city’s oldest and most cohesive neighborhoods must be a priority. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We challenge the city to find a way to make the Renaissance Co-Op a reality.

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