Thursday, October 9, 2008

Founding Member Drive - Kickoff Event

Indy Food Co-op Targets 150
Founding Members for Kick-off of Non-Profit Grocer

After a year of behind the scenes efforts by advocates for a non-profit grocer to serve Indianapolis’s downtown and near eastside residents, the all-volunteer board of the Indy Food Co-op are ready to unveil plans. On Saturday, November 8, those interested in bringing a natural food grocery cooperative to the city’s near eastside are invited to join members of the board and others for a founding membership kick-off meeting. The event will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Earth House Coffeehouse, located within the Lockerbie United Methodist Church at 237 North East Street.

“More than ever, residents downtown, on the near eastside and around town are seeking opportunities to buy healthy, local, natural, affordable food,” said Kyle Hendrix, chairperson of the Indy Co-op Board. “The food cooperative intends to fill this current void and meet the grocery needs for thousands of families in Central Indiana.”

Over the past months, the Indy Food Co-op has incorporated, formed a board of directors, raised funds, hired a consultant, and determined a likely location just east of downtown Indianapolis. The kick-off meeting offers the first opportunity for those who support the member-owner food cooperative concept to get involved and invest in the important community project, Members of the cooperative will enjoy product discounts and other special offers, however, the grocery will be open to the general public to meet a wide variety of customer food, grocery, personal care and other product needs.

“We know that many supporters have been standing by waiting for the day to help make a dream of a food co-op a reality and to become a founding member,” Hendrix continued. “The kick-off event is just that chance.”

According to the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC), there are approximately 300 such food co-ops across the country -- seven of which are in Indiana. Each food co-op is a little different based upon the individual needs of the community and the co-op members. Most food co-ops are voluntary, consumer-owned organizations, owned and controlled by members to provide affordable, healthy food to members and non-members. The ICDC provides technical support and resources to Indiana groups interested in starting up cooperatives and is assisting the Indy Food Co-op in its planning.

“We invite the community to join us for this fun and informative event to learn more about Indy Food Co-op as a resource for our families, our neighborhoods, and our community at large; and, if they are inspired as we have been, attendees can also help us reach our goal of 150 founding members to leverage support from local funding entities across Indianapolis as well as create of base of shoppers to support our local co-op,” Hendrix concluded.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to provide input on co-op product offerings, as well as give feedback on proposed market names. The event will include music by local singer-songwriter Sarah Grain, and snacks will be provided by local restaurants and organizations. Admission is free, open to the public and children are welcome.

For inquiries, e-mail; or contact Kyle Hendrix at 317.631.2220.