FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2015
Montavilla Food Co-op (MFC) is excited to announce it has been awarded a significant and highly competitive grant from Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), a national organization that supports start-up co-op initiatives across the United States. The grant includes a $5,000 cash award, mentoring, a site visit from a co-op development expert and other cooperative development resources. MFC will use the funds to commission a market study and develop financial projections.
“MFC is a grassroots, all-volunteer effort to build a cooperatively owned grocery in Montavilla that will supply healthy food, support local farmers and producers, build community wealth and advance sustainability initiatives in Montavilla,” reports MFC Vice President Ben Cutler. “This grant provides some of the resources needed to develop a professional assessment of the feasibility of a co-op in Montavilla, a critical step at our stage of development. The expertise that comes with this award will be a tremendous boost to our community effort.”
“The public interest in food co-ops is at an all-time high,” notes FCI Executive Director Stuart Reid. “By owning and controlling their own cooperative store, communities are able to ensure stable access to healthy food, provide meaningful jobs, and support local producers. Food co-ops can become both an economic anchor and a social hub for the community.” Award winners were selected based on the strength of their leadership, quality of business planning, potential for successful operations, and potential impact made by the grant funds.
“This is a very select group,” said Reid. “We are working with over 140 communities that are actively engaged in starting a food co-op. Although we were only able to provide funding to a limited number of co-ops, FCI provides free resources, training and advice to all food co-ops using a web-based approach which allows easy access on demand and provides personalized services through mentoring, live training events and a lot of e-mail.”
The mission of the Montavilla Food Cooperative is to connect the east Portland community to healthy food, support local farmers and producers, build community wealth and advance sustainability initiatives all within a centrally located, cooperative grocery. www.Montavilla.coop
Food Co-op Initiative is a non-profit 501(c)3 created to encourage and support new food co-op development. The Seed Grant program is made possible through a USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant and major funding from the Blooming Prairie Foundation, National Cooperative Bank, National Co+op Grocers, and the food co-op community. www.foodcoopinititaive.coop