Glens Falls Makes Headway with Its New Food Co-op
New Food Co-op Sees Its Beginnings in Glens Falls
“Eating is an Agricultural Act.” – Wendell Berry
For the past few years, many people in Glens Falls have been looking at ways to improve distribution of locally-grown foods and sundries. Many farmers have set up Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSAs), where the consumer invests prior to the season and in return receives a share of the crops. Farmers’ markets are thriving. Farm-to-restaurant and farm-to-consumer have been explored and implemented in nearby communities. Some have developed business plans for markets that would focus on local goods. Many local businesses have seen that using local food is a great way to enhance their quality levels and bring in new customers. For one reason or another, though, the people in our community who have spent time and effort trying to develop a retail location specializing in local food have not been able to establish enough momentum to get a project off the ground.
A few months ago, the Glens Falls Economic Development Group posed a Facebook question, “What other kinds of stores would you like to see in Downtown Glens Falls?” More than any other response, people answered, “Food Co-op.” Knowing there was this interest in the proposition, a Facebook group to explore the possibility of starting a co-op for Glens Falls was formed. As of Wednesday, July 6, there are 475 members in this group.
On Sunday, June 5, the Glens Falls Food Co-op group held its first organizational meeting at Rock Hill Café on Exchange St. in Glens Falls (the notes from this meeting are posted on the group’s Facebook page). The next meeting is set for Sunday, July 17 at 4pm, also at Rock Hill.
There are many cooperative models so a large part of the group’s initial work is deciding which level of capital and participation the community is most interested in supporting. There are “buying clubs,” which purchase bulk items and can operate out of member garages and church space. There are spaces available to members only. There are retail spaces open to the public, but also with special discounts and programs available only to members.
The primary vision of this group is to connect quality, local food (which may be organic, though not necessarily certified as such) directly from area farms to members. People may be attracted to this because of fear of pesticides or genetically modified organisms in their food or because they believe locally grown fresh food is the better tasting and more nutritious. The group is very interested in connecting members to other locally-produced goods, as well, with an eye to pricing that is fair to both producers and consumers.
In the coming weeks, the group is hoping to establish committees. There will be opportunities for members to participate in food selection and purchasing, volunteer coordination, planning, finances and communication. The group is also hoping to make key decisions on whether to operate initially as a buying club or to look for donated or rented space. All are welcome to attend and participate.
Visit the Glens Falls Food Co-op Facebook page for more info or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
–This article was written by Ben Lapham, Joy Kaczmarek & Matt Funiciello, Lead Organizers of the Glens Falls Food Co-op.
The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our new City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.
Short URL: http://thefreegeorge.com/thefreegeorge/?p=13123