The vision at Nature’s Food Patch, a natural food market and café in Clearwater, Florida, is to serve and inspire the community in order to build a healthier world. How? By educating about holistic health and natural living, stocking high-quality products and supporting organic farming and sustainable food systems. But “The Patch” especially exemplifies its goal through countless community-focused initiatives. Here are three:
PaTcHwOrKs Community Room. The Patch opened this dedicated space in January 2015 and has since offered nearly 200 free classes on topics such as healthy cooking, wellness and nutrition. The room is also home to film screenings, kids’ crafts, family yoga, song circles and a book club centered on personal development.
Monthly donations. Each month, Nature’s Food Patch donates food, gift cards and baskets to charities, schools and other organizations. In 2015, donations exceeded $13,000 and benefited 84 groups. In addition to monetary and product donations, the store also supports local organizations via employee-volunteer events. Beneficiaries have included the Annual Coastal Clean-Up, March Against Monsanto and Suncoast Animal League, for which events such as Dogtoberfest, Art for Animals and Wags and Wine have graced the schedule.
Local partnerships. Nature’s Food Patch partners with local community organizations that affect change. It has sponsored and provided meeting space for the Clearwater Community Garden, regularly supplies produce to feed the turtles at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and donates leftover food to the Homeless Empowerment Program. Additionally, The Patch hosts free store tours for kids through partnerships with the Girl Scouts, summer camps and other groups to teach kids about GMOs, fresh versus packaged foods, exotic fruits and more aspects of healthy living. The store even offers free samples and items for kids to smell, like fresh lavender, and feel, such as a rough coconut.