The modern food co-op movement started in the 1960s and 1970s, when socially cognizant citizens decided it was time to change the way they acquired their food. Many chose to establish and support natural, organic, anti-corporate food distribution centers in lieu of the chain grocery stores that had become commonplace. Presently, these food cooperatives are more popular than ever, as more people become mindful of the way their food is cultivated, raised and distributed. Michigan’s role in this movement continues to grow, with over twenty food cooperatives statewide- from Detroit, to Howell to Marquette!
Kalamazoo’s People’s Food Co-op has grown immensely over the past several years. After 37 years on Burdick St., the co-op moved to a fantastic new, larger location on Harrison Street in 2011. They carry more natural, organic and local products than ever. Anyone can shop, but if you decide you want to become a member it costs as little as $10 per month. The store is also connected to a Fair Food Matters Can-Do Kitchen that offers workshops and produces fresh daily food specials. It has become a great place to stop for lunch. Have a seat and enjoy some yummy soup, a sandwich, salad, taco or even lasagna while reading about exciting local events. Visit their website to see the daily fresh food menu.
Furthermore, the PFC of Kalamazoo has become an integral part of local farmers markets, including the 100 Mile Market, Kalamazoo Farmers Market and Kalamazoo Foods Market. The organization allows local vendors to set up shop in the parking lot on designated days and times throughout the summer. Stop by on April 27, 2013, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to participate in Grow It Yourself Day! Learn how to grow your own food and invest in all of the products you need to start your own successful garden.
Support your local food cooperative and help your community grow. Back local farmers and encourage locally produced goods. You will ensure that the citizens of Kalamazoo continue to have access to earth-friendly sustainable products and practices. Stop in the PFC on 507 Harrison St. or visit their website for more information.
Lindsey Hinkel, Contributing Writer