This is a story about how one buying club positively influenced its community.
Your Market Produce Buying Club (YMP) was established May 16, 2009 in Oakland, CA by 4 Believers, Brother Carlton & Sister Majeedah Muhammad and Brother Toral & Sister Opal X, representing the Ministry of Agriculture in our city. We were later joined by Sister Melva X.
We are inspired by The Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to “pool your resources”, the call from The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in his 2009 Saviours’ Day Address “Accepting Responsibility To Build Our Communities” and the continual encouragement to set up buying clubs in our cities by our National Ministry of Agriculture Farm Managers, Dr. Ridgley Mu’min and his wife, Sister Anne Muhammad.
YMP’s initial event served only the believing community with 17 members participating and a total of 40 orders filled for the first month and in 6 months of operation, we were filling 115+ orders per month and serving not only the believing community, but by majority the broader community.
After 4 years and 7 months of operation, having a buying club event every other week with out fail, and filling a total of 5,701 produce bags, Your Market Produce Buying Club held its last event, December 21, 2013.
….and as one door closes, another opens……..
While many in our buying club community asked questions like, “What are we going to do now about produce?” Or, made statements like “I’m going to miss my produce bags,” two young Sisters, Ikeisha Fields and Leah Oliver who were members of Your Market Produce Buying Club for the past 3 years stated, “We’re going to have to do something because we want our produce bags and don’t want to go back to the store for our produce”. “We’re going to have to start a buying club!”
And we were eager to help them! After sitting down with us to pick our brains on how to “Start a Buying Club” 28 days after the last Your Market Produce Buying Club event, Sisters Ikeisha and Leah launched
They are serving the broader community and the believing community alike. Not only are they willing to deliver fresh produce to Muhammad families, they offer the kinds of foods that we (believers) are able to eat! The same produce they received as Your Market Produce Members! AND they are supporting the same Black Farmers in the process! Last week Will Scott from Scott Family Farms drove 353 miles (round trip) just to drop off produce for OUR Market Produce Buying Club!…….The once served are now cheerfully serving!
So now when Sister Melva and myself go to OUR Market Produce to pick up our produce bags from Sisters Ikeisha and Leah, they are now greeting US working cheerfully and fearing not! They are happy to have had a good example of “pooling our resources” and working in collective unity for the benefit of our community and building together, Muslims, Christians in unity together!
Their words, “you inspired us to do it”.
You’ve heard the saying “If you build it they will come”? Well, these Sisters bear witness that, If we build it, not only will the community come, they will turn around and give their service to us in return.
Wait, their not finished, Sister Leah asked me to put them down for the next Staple Goods order!! Allah u akbar!!
How important do YOU think setting up buying clubs are to community building?
Sister Majeedah Muhammad, MOA Oakland, CA