May 2nd 2012

Blog Entry

In memory of Vanessa

Today, my group went down to the Food Co-op and we were full of excitement because we were told about everyone’s amazing experience the day before. Walking into the food co-op, it gave me a sense of community and health. Going though the aisle, I looked at all the organic foods, the natural ingredients, gluten free and healthy alternatives. It made me more conscious of my food habits and the additives, preservatives and unnatural ingredients i put into my body. Seeing people come and being able to purchase foods that allow them to be healthy and access resources to fit their food needs is an empowering alternative for them. The power of choice and affordability for these people is something to co-op offers to their shoppers. I will defintely become more health conscious and participate in food co ops when I get home.

During our time  in the food co-op, we recieved very sad news about the passing of one of the food co-op’s staff member, Vanessa. Vanessa touched my group dearly because we were on site when she fell ill. Our professor Pascal contributed to her revival process, however she did not make it. It was indeed a very traumatizing situation for our group. Not expecting such a huge loss on our work day at the the co-op, we felt naturally inclined to support one another. After a group check in, we decided to stay at the food co-op after it closed to help out with work that needed to be done. In a situation were we felt helpless, we made an effort to assist the co-op and the co-op community in any way possible as a team. The importance of team support and cohesiveness was very important today. The food co-op team supported one another after the loss of Vanessa. They were able to stay calm and grieve as a team. Our group became a backbone for each other where we shared our feelings, emotions, tears and smiles. I personally do not know how I would have coped without my team and debriefing with my community was healing for me.

Our love and support is with the co-op food team and those who are morning the loss of Vanessa.

We will always remember Vanessa and her contributions to a food co-op that supports the people of New Orleans.

Alyia Chan