Community co-op moves forwardOrganizers of a community-run food co-op are hoping for support as they raise funds to conduct a feasibility study.
Organizers of a community-run food co-op are hoping for support as they raise funds to conduct a feasibility study.
More than 75 community members met Thursday at the Fargo Public Library for an organizational meeting for the Cass-Clay Wholesome Food Co-op.
The group discussed what it will take to get the co-op started as well as a timeline for completion.
The co-op would be a member-owned and run store selling local produce, meat, dairy and other food products.
Members make an investment in the co-op and share in decision-making and electing a board of directors, but consumers don’t need to be members to shop in the store.
Organizers set a goal to raise $5,000 by June 1 in order to fund a feasibility study, which will take about a month to complete. So far, the group has nearly $2,000, said Dean Hulse of the planning committee.
The group will also apply for a grant from the North Dakota Agriculture Products Utilization Commission for the study.
Over the next three years, organizers hope to get support from about 1,000 members and raise about half of the estimated $1.5 million to $2 million needed to open the store as planned in February 2013.
Steve Spader, chairman of the planning committee, said he hopes the co-op acts as a bridge between consumers and producers in the community.
“Most people don’t know what real food is,” Spader said. “A co-op could provide … a very convenient connection between local growers who grow real food and the public.”
How to help
- To make an online donation, visit www.areafoundation.org/index.cfm and click on “Giving online.”