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Friday: Simply Living social at Near East Side Cooperative Market

"The food that we eat is a center for justice," said community organizer Rubén Castilla Herrera at a rally for farm worker rights last year outside a Wendy's restaurant. "We're all connected."

On Friday, May 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Simply Living will be bringing their monthly Second Friday Social to Olde Towne East to visit and tour Columbus' newest food co-op: the Near East Side Cooperative Market (NESCM) at 1117 Oak Street.

This special event will be catered with vegetarian soul food by Willowbeez SoulVeg, a local catering company that sources local fresh foods when available. Desserts and snacks are available for sale at the co-op, which is the only outlet for Jeni's Ice Cream on the near east side of Columbus.

Visitors can tour the co-op's garden, which will raise produce for sale throughout the season; talk to the co-op's manager, Katy Macke; and meet NESCM Board members to learn how the co-op was inspired, funded, and developed in their first year of operation.

Victoria Parks will be on hand with her guitar and the promise of a few songs for the occasion. A gift of $10 is requested in order to cover catering and other expenses. For more information, call (614) 636-3726.