Rise and Expansion: Ohio, Los Angeles and Northern Virginia Connections to Whole Food and Nutrition

IMG_0218

Before we get to the main article, which is to be published in the Winter issue of the prestigious international journal called Wise Traditions by The Weston A. Price Foundation, I will offer you a special treat. Together with Ohio chapters of WAPF, Ohio Connections has developed a statewide integrated network for communication and event announcements. Of course, Ohioans are welcome to join.

Ohio statewide group, Ohio Connections at http://wholefood.meetup.com/165

Canton Connections at http://wholefood.meetup/160
Cincinnati Connections at http://meetup.com/realfood
Cleveland Connections at http://meetup.com/clevelandconnections
Dayton Connections at http://meetup.com/dayton-nourishing-connections
Columbus Connections at http://meetup.com/columbus-nourishing-connections

We have added three new cities to the Meetups in the past month and are expecting to add three or four additional cities in the near future. Now to the story on Ohio, Los Angeles and Northern Virginia.

Fun & Easy: Grow Your Food Group with a MeetUp!

By David Augenstein (Augie), Kimberly Hartke and Ann Marie Michaels

An internet program called MeetUp.com, an automatic event planning tool, has been quite a valuable tool for WAPF chapters to grow their memberships and meeting attendance.

Northern Virginia Reports


Sara Tung and Todd Crames of Reston, Virginia, launched a group called Northern Virginia Whole Foods Nutrition at www.meetup.com/WholeNutrition about two years ago. Sara says: “We have grown to nearly 500 Meetup members. We have easily organized as many as three meetings a month, and find with every meeting we post, more people join the meetup group. It is free to join, and all our events are free, so there is no financial barrier to participating. The growth of the group has been organic, through simply posting new events, we have attracted hundreds of new meetup members in a year’s time.” Once they join the meetup and start coming to events, then we have the opportunity to teach them about the research of Weston A. Price and promote WAPF IMG_0305membership.

Having your own Meetup.com site is the best way on the internet to promote your WAPF Chapter. It is fun, easy and effective to use. Organizers post the Agenda and the program automates all the tasks related to an event. Choosing a location, providing driving directions, collecting admissions fees (if there are any) and RSVPs. It even has waiting list and automatic meeting reminders capability. Organizers pay a small fee of $12 a month for a Meetup account that allows you up to three interest groups (use the other two for other hobbies or organizations you are involved in).

Ohio Reports

Farm and Country Stores

Farm and Country Stores

David Augenstein (Augie) and his wife, Annie, moved to the Canton, Ohio in 2007. They started a Meetup for the area called Canton Connections to Whole Food and Nutritional Healing at www.wholefood.meetup.com/160 to attract people to their Canton meetings based on the WAPF philosophy. In two months membership grew to 40 people, and is presently up to 170. With about 20 meetings so far, attendance has ranged from 12 to 45 adults per meeting.

After this successful first step, Augie decided to launch an Ohio-wide Meetup called Ohio Connections to Whole Food and Nutritional Healing at www.wholefood.meetup.com/165 which included all 7 Ohio Chapters who posted over 100 meetings in a little over a year. This quickly resulted in gaining 400 meetup members. It is exciting to see all the farmers, homesteaders, food groups and consumers, including a lot of WAPF members, join our statewide Meetup.

IMG_0453Augie explains, “We are now recommending that each Ohio chapter have their own Meetup to organically and locally grow their membership using the full power of all the Meetup functions. So far, Cincinnati and Cleveland are spinning off and the three Dayton chapters are now considering”.

Los Angeles Reports

Ann Marie Michaels and Victoria Bloch are WAPF co-chapter leaders in Los Angeles. Ann Marie says, “We followed Kimberly’s lead and set up a Meetup group http://www.meetup.com/Los-Angeles-Whole-Food-Nutrition-Meetup-Group/in February, 2009. We used her group’s MeetUp page as a model and pretty much copied what they did in Virginia.

“To be honest, Victoria and I have both been too busy this summer to spend much time promoting our chapter or doing much of anything withDayton Food Freedom Fests the MeetUp site – but our chapter grew anyway. We now have 140 members, many of them brand new.

“We never would have met these new folks if it weren’t for MeetUp. It emails people who have expressed interest and lets them know that your MeetUp exists. MeetUp also makes managing your group’s meetings and communications so easy. It’s well worth the money we spend to participate.”

If every chapter used Meetup.com as an organizing tool, busy chapter leaders would be able to easily grow their local influence and membership in WAPF, without spending all their free time doing it. Meetup.com does the grunt work for you!

We also discovered another great feature of the Meetup platform. When it comes time to file our chapter report to the WAPF National office, at the touch of a button, all the events of the past year print out, ready to attach to the report form and mail.

________________________________

Ohio statewide group at http://wholefood.meetup.com/165

Canton Connections at http://wholefood.meetup/160
Cincinnati Connections at http://meetup.com/realfood
Cleveland Connections at http://meetup.com/clevelandconnections
Dayton Connections at http://meetup.com/dayton-nourishing-connections
Columbus Connections at http://meetup.com/columbus-nourishing-connections

To learn more about how your food groups or other groups can benefit, go to Meetup.com    Go to The Weston A. Price Foundation to learn more about them. And go to Ohio Connections, an affiliate of the Journal, to learn about it and access the other Ohio groups.

One response to “Rise and Expansion: Ohio, Los Angeles and Northern Virginia Connections to Whole Food and Nutrition

  1. Augie: please check out this broadside that I wrote and am distributing. Feel free to copy it. Thanks for all that you do. Kris Issue 2

    When holding a baby, if he/she issues “number 2” into the diaper, one doesn’t need to actually see anything to know what’s going on. The nose will give a full report.
    That’s what’s going on with Issue 2 on the ballot in Ohio this November. The plutocrats who run our State want to embed a de facto dictatorship into the Ohio State Constitution. The emerging paradigm for our times is to regulate, fine and tax the citizenry into the ground. Yes, this activity has gone on in the past, but usually not through dictatorial boards. That’s changing!
    And if they have to lie to get their way: so what! Take Issue 2. It’s touted as going to provide “safe, local food.” Really? Then why is it supported by the arm of agriculture that (in the case of dairy production) runs “farms” with from 600 to 32,000 cows standing in feces and fed antibiotics? I smell cherry-picked exemptions!
    The deterrent in the past to these kinds of wired policies has been that they had to go through a lengthy legislative process that somewhat engendered retort from the taxpayers. But if Issue 2 is passed, a board of twelve animal czars will make law extra legislatively.
    And only three farmers will help constitute that body. Simple elementary school math will tell you that they’ll be a small minority. No real voice; no power whatsoever. If this measure really is about empowering farmers, then why not make the whole board constituted of the same? Something here smells of mega-business interests and anal-retentive, control freak tendencies. And I wont need to look “into the diaper” to know what issue I’ll be holding in my hands on Election Day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s