Greetings to everyone,
My name is Chris Andree, I'm a UPS graduate living in Tacoma. I?m contacting you with a local development because it may be related to your interest, that of colleagues and students. There is a small group of interested people from various organizations who are trying to generate discussion about the vision of a customer food co-op in Tacoma. So far this vision includes bringing affordable, healthy and local food options to Tacoma residents in a way currently that is unserviced. I?ve been privy to this new group, and am emailing you because those involved seek a broader base of knowledge and support.
A public meeting will be held to disseminate basic information about food co-ops, the group's basic goals, Q and A, and collect input as well as volunteers to help this project develop.
The meeting will take place Wednsday, Feb. 21st from 5:30-7 pm at the Allen-Russell Building, 1321 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street.
Currently there is a vacuum of food co-ops in the area, as they operate in Seattle and Olympia, but not Tacoma. Although some stores such as Marlene?s, Metropolitan Market, and Stadium Thriftway sell some natural foods, these remain high-end options, are not inherently local and are not co-ops. The goal of this group is to forge a viable alternative to expensive health food stores and bulk outlets.
Why are we interested in a Tacoma food co-op?
-to provide affordable, fresh and healthy food to citizens from throughout Tacoma
-to generate an institutionalized support and a direct outlet for struggling local
farmers (the group involves a Tacoma Farmers' Market Representative)
-to create a more efficient and established avenue for local restaurants to purchase
local produce and other healthy and ?green?food alternatives
-to foster social capital via welcoming facilities, co-op memberships and
participation, public education
-to engender economic injections to the chosen area, including jobs, improved image,
-to possibly locate the co-op in the improving Hilltop (Upper Tacoma) area, to
assist this transitioning area that has experienced troubles
-to reduce environmental impact Tacoma food consumption, notably the externalities of extensive food transport, the impacts of water pollution, soil depletion and genetic alterations associated with industrial agriculture, over-packaging,
-to fortify a location which creates a tangible and continuing education for many community members about nutrition, environmental issues, and to bridge the urban-rural social divide
This development is a exciting prospect and intended to be very open to community input and a process of roughly two years. We invite you to tell your friends and colleagues and to come to the public meeting on the 21st. A press release is being developed and will be distributed widely soon.
Many organizations who assist in co-op development by providing models and advice.
For more information, please visit:
The Northwest Co-op Development Center (Olympia-based) www.nwcdc.coop
The National Co-op Business Association www.ncba.coop <http://www.ncba.coop/>
Madison Market (Capitol Hill) www.madisonmarket.com <http://www.madisonmarket.com/>
Feel free to contact myself, or Ameri-corps intern Amber Englund, who will be managing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much for your time,