Carol Collins, Central Corridor Advisor
National Cooperative Grocers Association
Recorded at the Cooperative Cafe, Kalamazoo, Mich., October 2013
Food co-ops have impacted their communities in many ways, including providing community outreach, education, paying a living wage and supporting local farmers and vendors. But virtually none of these things would be accomplished without a strong connection to their local community.
That’s why Carol Collins of the NCGA argues that it’s the co-op’s partnerships that will enable food co-ops to continue to grow. “Co-ops have become the hub and the heart of the community,” she said, “Making connections out from that hub to other organizations that share the values, that’s where growth is going to come from.” She likens the local food co-op to the Third Place, the place in the community where people come together outside of home and work. As food co-ops look to greater participation at all levels, a focus on the community will not only continue the work that’s been accomplished, but expand its influence.
“Co-ops have become the hub and the heart of the community.” —Carol Collins, Central Corridor Advisor, NCGA