Dorchester Community Food Co-op

Building a Healthy, Sustainable & Economically Viable Community

General Meeting on Wednesday May 29

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Co-op General Meeting
Wednesday May 29
First Parish Church (Meetinghouse Hill)
6:30 Orientation
7-8:30 Meeting

Save the Date! If you are new to the co-op come at 6:30 for an orientation. At 7pm we will start the general meeting (for members and all interested folks) with an update on the plans for developing the co-op at the corner of Bowdoin St. and Topliff St., and then we will break down into groups to discuss store planning and outreach. Please come and share your ideas! What are the five most important things we want people to know right away when they walk into the new co-op? Help us develop the vision.

Update: What has been happening?

Collaboration with Dorchester Bay EDC to build a new building for the food co-op on Bowdoin St.
Plans are underway to partner with the DBEDC: they will build a new building at the corner of Bowdoin and Topliff Sts, and the co-op will be the anchor tenant with a 5000 sq ft retail  market. We are planning to fill out the remaining first floor retail space with a cafe and a small bank or credit union branch. There will be office space on a second floor for community organizations that complement the co-op work, and we are planning for a demonstration green roof and greenhouse. This is an amazing opportunity to design a new urban co-op from scratch. The DBEDC is committed to building a green and sustainable building that meets the community needs and reflects the rich diversity of Dorchester. We will be involved in the design planning every step of the way. We need YOU to participate in the planning! Come to our member meeting on May 29 or send an email to silverman.jen@gmail.com

Fundraising
We exceeded our  Vision Fund goal and raised $26,500 from individuals and the Boston Impact Initiative between February and April! Together with a grant from the Kendall Foundation, we have a good start for funding our organizational development. The Vision Fund will be ongoing to support our programs, and we are hoping to raise enough to support another season of Fresh Fridays. If you have not yet made a donation, it is not too late! Click HERE to support the Coop Vision Fund. We are also beginning the capital campaign to raise  the $2 million we need to build out our space in the new building, buy equipment and inventory, and start staffing up to open the store. We will be putting together a combination of grants and loans. We will also be launching a member loan program as part of our financing big picture. More details on the member loan opportunity will come during the summer.

Membership
We have 251 member households of the Dorchester Community Food Co-op! We would like to add 49 more households to reach 300 members by July 1. Household equity shares can be purchased online and cost $100 (this can be paid in full or in installments!). The equity we raise through our members will provide some of the capital we need to open the store. Membership now is important to demonstrate our community’s engagement in this project—particularly as we reach out to large foundations to raise the $2 million we need! If you haven’t joined yet–this would be an excellent time to make a commitment to a new community and worker owned healthy food store in Dorchester. Click HERE for more information on how to join the Co-op

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March in the
Dorchester Day Parade
June 2

For the third year in a row, the Dorchester Community Food Co-op will march in the Dorchester Day Parade on June 2! This is a wonderful way to get the word out about the emerging food co-op to thousands of Dorchester residents. This year we will join with a contingent from the six summer Dorchester Farmers’ Markets. Come join us so that we can have a large group demonstrating that we want to expand the healthy food options in our community. We will have vegetable costumes for a lucky few! Bring signs, and march the whole route or just a portion! Great for kids and the young at heart. Information about start time and line up location will follow. For more information, contact Lynn Murray (klynnmurray@gmail.com).

Volunteers Needed
The Dorchester Community Food Coop needs volunteers for outreach, planning and preparing for events.  We are starting a door knocking initiative in the immediate vicinity of the planned co-op site.  Would you like to host a small house party to let your neighbors know about the new co-op?  To volunteer for any of this work, please contact volunteer coordinator Lynn Murray  klynnmurray@gmail.com

Board Elections
We will be holding Board elections in June. To nominate yourself or someone to serve on the leadership body of the co-op, please contact Jenny Silverman (silverman.jen@gmail.com) We are committed to having a board that represents the geographic, racial and ethnic diversity of Dorchester. To serve on the Board, you must be a co-op member in good standing.
 

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