Monadnock Food Co-op recognized for building community
Monadnock Food Co-op member owner Nancy McNeal of Stoddard shops in the market after enjoying lunch in the co-op cafe. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)
The young food co-op was given the National Start-up of the Year award from the Food Co-op Initiative.
With it, the Food Co-op Initiative hopes to recognize, among other things, excellence in leadership and strength of community support.
Today member ownership is up to 1,700, Risley said.
Risley and Co-op General Manager Michael Faber said they are excited and proud to receive the award.
Food co-ops originated in the depths of the Great Depression, then experienced a resurgence in the 1970s and '80s when consumers wanted access to more organic foods.
The Keene-based market not only sells locally grown organic fruits and vegetables, but cheese, milk, yogurt, eggs and meat.
"People were really wishing to see a place where they could buy all those products in one place and support this food movement of more food items being produced in our backyards and neighborhoods and community, and having it done in a way that is sustainable," he said.
The project started in 2008 and drew support from individuals, city officials as well as local and national groups, he said.
In general, food co-ops start in church basements and might take decades to grow to the size the Monadnock Food Co-op, which opened this spring, Faber said.
This Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. the food co-op is taking the opportunity to give back by holding an ice cream social fundraiser for the Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition, a group that supported the food co-op project.
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