In a world where corporate giants dictate our choices, where every dollar we spend seems to feed into a system that values profit over people, it’s easy to feel like just another cog in the machine as you make your purchases. This feeling may become most prevalent with our most frequent purchases, food and groceries. But what if your grocery store was more than an obligatory stop? What if it could be a statement of your values, a contribution to your community, and a step towards a more equitable and sustainable world?
Let us welcome to the Davis Food Co-op, a grocery store that’s about so much more than just food.
As a college student, you’re not just learning, you’re actively shaping your world. Every decision you make, from your field of study to where you shop, is a reflection of your values and the future you want to create. Are you passionate about environmental sustainability? We prioritize local, organic produce and work hard to minimize waste. Concerned about workers’ rights? We’re committed to fair wages and good working conditions, both for our own employees and for the employees of our vendors. Want to support your local economy? We source seasonally from local farmers and producers whenever possible and carry products from over 500 local brands in store. The Co-op is made of a group of individuals who believe in the power of collective action, who care about fostering a sustainable food system, supporting local farmers, and promoting healthy, ethical choices. We are your neighbors. We are the people you see every time you go for a walk, a bike ride or a trip to the farmers market early on a Saturday morning. We are your community.
When you walk into the Davis Food Co-op, you’re not walking into a sterile, impersonal supermarket. You’re walking into a community hub.
You’re likely to see familiar faces, maybe even friends. You’ll find staff who are more than just employees – they’re individuals who care about their work, their community, and their world.
But the sense of community goes beyond the walls of our store. As a co-op, we’re deeply connected to our local community. We host events and classes, fostering connections and shared learning.
We give back to our community, supporting local causes and initiatives. And most importantly, we listen to the feedback of our customers, most of whom are Member-Owners who not only shop with us, but also own a piece of our business.
Anyone can shop at the Davis Food Co-op but joining as a Member-Owner means you’re not just talking about these ideals, you’re living them. Being an Owner means that you are making a small investment ($15 to start) to be extended rights, responsibilities, and influence to thrive as part of our store and community. You gain access to a myriad of extra promotions and programs, access to issued dividends, and the right to help choose the direction of the cooperative. You can vote, attend meetings, serve on the Board of Directors, track all of your purchases online, and much more. As part of the Co-op, you have an even greater say in our practices and policies. You can help us decide what products we stock, what initiatives we support, and how we can better serve our community. You become part of a cooperative that values transparency and mutual respect. Unlike traditional grocery stores, our goal isn’t to maximize profits. Our goal is to use our profit to serve our Members and our community in the ways that they best see fit. And since we understand that not everyone can stay in Davis long-term, we offer the ability to Member-Owners to be refunded their investment at any time, no questions asked.
Let’s take a moment to contrast this with your typical corporate grocery store. When you shop at one of these stores, your money goes towards lining the pockets of distant shareholders. Your choices are dictated by what will maximize their profits, not what’s best for everyone as a whole. The products on the shelves are there because they’re cheap to produce and yield high profit margins, not because they’re good for your health or the environment. The workers you see in the store are often paid minimum wage, with little regard for their well-being or job satisfaction. In these stores, you’re not a valued member of a community, you’re a consumer. Your value is measured in dollars, your voice is systematically silenced through purposefully inept and complex bureaucracy. There your values are only considered while planning their exploitation, and your community is slowly drained.
Now, imagine a different kind of grocery store. Imagine a store where your voice matters, where your values are reflected in the products on the shelves, where your money goes towards supporting your local store and community rather than distant shareholders. Imagine a store where your value is intrinsic to you for simply being. That’s the Davis Food Co-op. When you join us, you’re not just joining a grocery store. You’re joining a community. You’re working towards creating a better, more sustainable world. So, if you’re ready to keep moving forward, to align your actions with your values, we invite you to join us. Join the Davis Food Co-op, and let’s make a difference together.
For more information on how to become a Member-Owner, visit https://davisfood.coop/ownership-info/
or the Customer Service Desk in store.
support (y)our local food security Organizations
As of October 2022, grocery store prices are 5.3% higher than they were a year ago. To put this in perspective, during the decade prior to the start of the pandemic the average annual increase in grocery store prices were only about 1.3%.
Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and Climate Change are some of the major leading factors for why we are seeing such high inflation increases.
Because of this, more people are struggling to get access to food, resulting in more folks experiencing food insecurity.
Food-insecure is defined by households that are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, at some time during the year, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.
There are many non-profits and charities that are working to address food insecurity and increase food sovereignty.
We’re highlighting a few of the local organizations here in Davis and two in Sacramento, giving details on when and where they distribute food if you or someone you know is in need.
All of these local organizations are best supported through volunteering, donations of food and financial donations, and spreading the word to members of the community. Links will be included for both volunteering and donating options for each organization.
The Night Market
Established in 2019, The Night Market’s mission is to reduce food waste and increase food security in Davis while fostering a sense of community. They recover food that would otherwise go to waste from Davis restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. They also have a focus on sustainability by prioritizing bikes equipped with carts to transport food, to minimize their carbon emissions.
They provide the free meals Monday-Friday, from 9pm- 11pm in Central Park and is available for anyone that is in need.
For the times that they have leftovers, they package the remaining food in compostable containers and drop them off at the Freedge that is hosted at the Davis Food Co-op.
Davis Food Not Bombs/Sacramento Food Not Bombs
Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer movement that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded, and shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with the hungry in over 1,000 cities in 65 countries in protest to war, poverty, and destruction of the environment. There are two local Food Not Bombs, one in Davis and one in Sacramento.
Davis Food Not Bombs serves meals every 2nd and 4th Sundays
at Central Park (4th & C) from 1-2pm
Sacramento Food Not Bombs serves a free vegan meal every Sunday at 1:30pm at Cesar Chavez Plaza (Between 9th & 10th and I and J Street)
If you’d like to volunteer with Sacramento Food Not Bombs or make a donation of food or funds, please contact us at sactofoodnotbombs@ for more information.
Both will also accept anyone to just show up at the serving times and chat with them to discuss ways you can get involved.
Established in 2016, NorCal Resist fights injustices through making a positive impact in their communities. They host educational events and trainings, organize actions, and maintain a variety of resources and programs that provide support to those in need.
NorCal Resist does food distribution in several ways – Monthly drive thru distributions where they partner with the Sacramento Food Bank, a community table at their monthly brake light clinics, and direct deliveries to their community at home, as needed. They have a Mutual Aid Farm, Seeds of Solidarity, which has distributed over 1,800 pounds of organic food to the community so far this year.
Dates, times, and locations of their distribution programs can be found through their Instagram.
More information to volunteer for one of their programs can be found here.
Fourth and Hope
Fourth & Hope serves dinner each night at 5 p.m. to anyone in need of a hot meal. Breakfast and lunch are offered to clients staying at the shelter. Location is 1901 E Beamer St, Woodland, CA 95776
Information on volunteering can be found here.
Purchase items from their wishlist here.
Yolo Food Bank
Yolo Food Bank coordinates the recovery, storage, and distribution of more than 11 million pounds of food annually. They collaborate with a network of grocers and retailers, farmers and distributors, the private sector and governmental agencies, and 64 nonprofit partner organizations countywide. They distribute food through these 4 programs:
Eat Well Yolo
Providing weekly distributions of fresh produce, dairy,
meat, and other non-perishable goods.
Eat Home Yolo
Delivering groceries to low income senior citizens, people with disabilities, or mobility-restricted neighbors.
Kids Farmers Market
Supporting elementary-school-aged children’s access to local produce and nutrition education.
Supplying fresh produce, shelf-stable food, and personal care products to 64+ nonprofit partners countywide.
You can volunteer individually or in a group to pack food, distribute food, and/or volunteer as a driver. Find all this information on volunteering here.
Many students at UC Davis find themselves choosing between basic essentials such as food and hygiene products and the required costs of college. It is for this reason that The Pantry was established in 2010 to help offset these financial burdens and ensure that students may continue on to successfully complete and obtain their degrees.
The Pantry is open to all students, staff, and faculty at UC Davis. This also includes graduate, PhD, and postdoctoral students, serving folks of all levels of income and need.
Their current Fall 2022 Schedule is:
Monday & Wednesday & Friday: 10:30am – 4:00pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
While walk-ins are welcome, they also have an online portal to order non-perishable items in advance, and have a digital list, that is updated hourly, to show what perishable items they currently have.
They have volunteer opportunities for student, which more information can be found here.
More than 90% of funding for The Pantry comes from community donations.
Davis Community Meals and Housing
Davis Community Meals and Housing offers a free meal on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and lunch on Saturday from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, located at 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis, CA 95616.
The food is prepared and served by individual community volunteers, religious organizations, school groups, UC Davis and community service groups, and many others.
Volunteers help prepare the meals, set up the dining hall, serve the meals and clean up the kitchen and hall at the conclusion of the meal. Volunteers are needed from 9 am to 11:30 am and from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesdays and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.
Find more information on Volunteering here
Purchase items from their wish list
The Freedge aims to reduce food insecurity and food waste, while simutaneously building a stronger, more sustainable community. They promote equal access to healthy food through the installation of community freedges (public refrigerators) that are for anyone who is in need within the community.
There are currently 5 Freedges throughout Davis:
Davis Food Co-op
UCD Memorial Union
1221 Eureka Ave
2013 Whittier Dr
Perishable and non-perisable items can be dropped off by anyone from the community (excluding raw meat or alcohol).
“Take what you need, give what you don’t.”
There isn’t one solution to food insecurity, but many. It requires an approach that includes government policy, better housing, employment opportunities, social assistance, training and education, affordable fresh food markets, and more.
On Saturday August 20th and Sunday August 21st, the Davis Food Co-op will be giving everyone that spends $100 or more, $25 off of their order*
* Limit one use per customer. All orders over $100, regardless of the total amount, will automatically receive the onetime $25 discount to their order. The discount will be applied immediately and cannot be redeemed at a later date. The following purchase exclusions apply and do not count towards the $100 necessary to receive the discount:
– Mermaid Sushi
– Owner Equity Payments
– DFC Gift Card purchases
– Donations (such as Round-Up at the Register)
– Co-op Cooking Classes
– Event ticket purchases
– Tickets the Co-op sells on behalf of other organizations or fundraisers
– Bottle Deposits
– Sales tax
– Paper Bag purchases
– Alcohol purchases
– CBD purchases