URBAN FOOD INITIATIVE ON THE MOVE:
DORCHESTER COMMUNITY FOOD CO-OP RECEIVES SEED GRANT TO ‘GROW’ COMMUNITY STORE
(BOSTON, MA—September 11, 2012) Efforts to sow change in Dorchester have not gone unnoticed. The Dorchester Community Food Co-op (DCFC) is proud to announce its receipt of a $10,000 grant from the Food Co-op Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to helping communities make their co-op vision into reality. In addition to seed capital, the grant package includes comprehensive technical assistance and mentoring. The DCFC is one of only ten recipients nationwide.
“We’re honored to be recognized for our collective work—it’s neighbors and residents who’ve brought us this far,” says Jenny Silverman of the DCFC, “The co-op will bring what this neighborhood is calling for: economic opportunity, healthy affordable food access, and education around healthy food choices.”
“The work we are doing goes beyond the goal of building a single store in a single neighborhood,” says Jhana Senxian of the Sustainability Guild. “The goal is to create a worker and community owned food hub that serves the broader community of Dorchester – and beyond. We are creating a truly collaborative social enterprise that actively engages and brings value to residents, organizations, and local businesses alike.”
“This is a game-changer,” says Molly Shaw, nutritionist at Upham’s Corner Health Center. “Residents of Dorchester often lack access to healthy food. Working across the cultural spectrum of our community, and with small businesses and exiting community efforts, the co-op will change the nutritional landscape of Boston and especially Dorchester.”
Prior to opening, the Dorchester Community Food Co-op has launched several pilot projects to build community, increase access to produce and engage local families in education and the arts. In early 2012, the co-op held a Winter Farmers’ Market in Codman Square—the only healthy winter food market in the city of Boston to accept EBT/SNAP as well as “Boston Bounty Bucks,” which doubles the value of SNAP purchases up to a value of $20. For this and other efforts, the co-op was named a Sustainable Food Leader by the City of Boston in April 2012.
This summer, the co-op ran a Fresh Fridays café series in the Bowdoin / Geneva / Meetinghouse Hill neighborhood of Dorchester. This pay-what-you-can “Global Fusion of Taste of Sound” was housed in the historic First Parish Church. Both café and market featured a wide, multicultural range of musicians, workshops and demonstrations ranging from composting to herb preservation to raised bed gardening, and opportunities for children to play and learn about healthy food.
“My family joined the co-op because it means a stronger, healthier community in which we can raise our new child,” says Samantha Tan.
“Count on a vibrant, thriving tomorrow,” says Joel Wool of GreenDorchester. “We’re seeding an environment of health, happiness and community power.”
About the Dorchester Community Food Cooperative
The Dorchester Community Food Co-op is an initiative to build a community & worker-owned cooperative market and urban food hub that provides economic opportunity and healthy affordable food. The Co-op will be a community asset, providing space for education and cultural activities as well as job training, and will be a dynamic center for healthy eating and sustainable living that celebrates the rich diversity of Dorchester. The “Food Co-op” will offer farm-fresh produce, bulk grains and spices, and a variety of healthy food and green household products. For more information, visit http://dotcommcoop.wordpress.com/.