The Coop began with Helen Poon who has been working for decades in the not-for-profit sector, promoting wellness and education to diverse communities. Her drive brought forward numerous friends that wanted to share her passion. Gradually, a group formed, gathering like-minded professionals that initially wanted to contribute to the betterment of our communities, advocating a form of social justice that improved access to health and food choices.
Collectively, all of us wanted to affect positive change. We wanted ideas of food, health, wellness, equity, equality, diversity, inclusivity, community, and so much more, but were unclear about the direction, unsure what exactly to plant or even where to plant our thoughts.
Eventually, Sally Miller was hired as a consultant to provide the grounding or soil for our ideas, helping us conceptualize our thoughts into something tangible. The early stage of understanding ourselves from our mission and vision was our seed. Then, a steering committee was established to help water and nurture our first board. The first round of bond investment is on-going, providing continuous sunlight to feed our seedling. And quickly, signs of life broke the surface, and Sprouts was born.
Our holistic approach is what makes Sprouts unique; the Coop aims to offer much more than just healthy, sustainable food, but also educational health and wellness workshops that build the capacity of individuals and their families, while providing meaningful employment to the community. We understand that the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health of someone are all intertwined; individuals,
caregivers, families, community leaders, and stakeholders need to work together to encourage health and wellness.
Although Sprouts is just starting, with nurture and care, we know Sprouts will grow and blossom into a resilient and vibrant hub that enables community members to access healthy food, education, health services, and employment designed to empower everyone to contribute to a stronger community for all.
Why We Take Care Of Your Food And Health Together?
Sprouts is the first co-operative that integrates food with health in its services and products because we believe in “We Are What We Eat” – what we eat directly impacts on our health.
There are 4 types of Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) which are the top causes of death worldwide: cardiovascular diseases (responsible for 48% of these deaths), cancers (21%), chronic respiratory diseases (12%), and diabetes (3%). NCDs are largely preventable by tackling 4 risk factors: tobacco, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol.
According to World Health Organization:
- 36 millions people die annually from NCDs.
- 63% of all global deaths are due to NCDs (WHO, 2011).
- 18% of children and adolescents aged 5-19 are overweight and obese in 2016 compared to 4% in 1975 (WHO, 2017).
Sprouts is dedicated to advocate for improving accessibility to holistic and diverse health options and food security at both the personal and the community levels.