Special Announcement May 20th, 2015

Dear Allies:

Please consider making a donation to our colleagues at Community Services Unlimited Inc. as they move to create a permanent presence in South Los Angeles. Having looked at various options they are delighted to announce that they are in the process of purchasing the Paul Robeson building at 6569 South Vermont Avenue. The 5,000 square foot building and 10,000 square foot lot mean they can open the produce and grocery market South LA needs, create an on-site commercial kitchen and urban farm, and greatly increase their capacity to serve more local residents.

This is an incredible development! It will benefit not only CSU but all other groups doing work in South LA.

But time is of the essence!

Donate what you can to help them raise $200,000 dollars for the down payment on the Paul Robeson Center by June 14th 2015. $5.00 or $50,000.00, every penny counts, please make a donation now:

See below for full details of this fantastic development that will benefit all of us doing food justice work in South LA!

Community Services Unlimited Inc.

Serving the People Body and Soul!

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Dear CSU Supporter,

At a time when so many long-term residents of neighborhoods are being displaced due to rising rents and property values, Community Services Unlimited Inc., (CSU) has decided to build a permanent presence in South Los Angeles. Having looked at various options we are delighted to announce that we are in the process of purchasing the Paul Robeson building at 6569 South Vermont Avenue. The 5,000 square foot building and 10,000 square foot lot mean we can open the produce and grocery market South LA needs, create an on-site commercial kitchen and urban farm, and greatly increase our capacity to serve more local residents.

We are honored that so many of you have supported CSU’s work to bring affordable high quality food to South LA. As a result the number of families who access this food has grown from 90 in 2007, when we launched the Village Market Place (VMP) social enterprise, to 8000 by the end of 2014. We now distribute over 100,000 pounds of local beyond organic produce in South LA through a variety of means designed to make access easy and keep the cost affordable.

The creation of the VMP has been part of our strategy to build the sustainability of our food justice programs just as we work to build self-reliant life styles in our community. In 2014 VMP sales amounted to 25% of our annual income and this growth has concretely demonstrated something that we have always known; there is a demand for good food in South LA. In order to expand our capacity to serve more families we now need more space for aggregating, packing and preparing food and we know it is time to open the first community owned and run organic market in South LA.

“Power is the ability to define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner” and we understand that the current food system does not exist to serve those most in need. More than one in five children are at risk of hunger in the U.S. and this number jumps to one in three children in the African American and Mexican/ Central American population. Despite all the promises, and the policies passed since the LA rebellion in 1992 corporate super markets come to South LA, take tax credits and public dollars and then leave. 2013 saw the closure of 2 Ralph’s locations and we face impending closures of Fresh and Easy stores in and around South LA.

Our commitment to transforming the health of our community is long term and multi-faceted, just as the oppression and neglect of it is systemic and old. We have been patiently building a localized food system from the ground up, one that engages community at every level, builds a market for local famers, creates real living jobs for local residents, keeps our dollars local, and makes good food accessible.

We are actively working to build community envisioned solutions and we proudly invite you to join us by donating what you can to help us raise $200,000 dollars for the down payment on the Paul Robeson Center by June 14th 2015. $5.00 or $50,000.00, every penny counts, please make a donation now:

We thank you for your support and if you can offer help in other ways please reach out and let us know; we need fundraisers, carpenters, electricians, and much more. Please join is for our first event at the Paul Robeson Community Wellness Center on May 30th from 4pm to 8pm. We will have some amazing local musicians, great food and drink and will be sharing our vision for the space. Please rsvp to Heather@csuinc.org, we look forward to seeing you. Access to good food is a basic human right, we appreciate your help in making this real in South LA.

Sincerely,

Neelam Sharma and Dyane Pascall

On behalf of the CSU Team


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