By: Connie Ransom & Charlotte Mckenzie
Since 2012, Riverside Food Cooperative (RFC) has been gaining members and strength as they work towards bringing healthful food to Riverside. If you’re wondering what a Food Co-Op is and how it works, here are some answers.
If you’re familiar with REI, you know what a Co-Op is. RFC is a member owned grocer. Membership is open to any resident of California and all members sustain the business with the equity they put into it, and the patronage of its services. A Cooperative is defined by the Government as a Not for Profit organization, this means that any profits gleaned from the business of the Co-Op belong to the members. The profits can be paid in the form of dividends, or the members can vote to put their profits back into the organization to create new programs.
The Riverside Food Co-Op has just reached a milestone of 200+ members. As they continue to increase membership the long-term goal is to open a storefront which would bring fresh, locally procured produce and items to our community every day. 96% of the produce RFC provides to their members comes from within 50 miles of Downtown Riverside, with 51% being purchased within a 5-mile radius. What does this mean for our community? It means that they spend over $15,000 per year with local farmers. This may not sound like a big number, but just imagine how it will grow as the Co-Op grows.
A life time membership with Riverside Food Co-Op costs $100. One current benefit is the option to purchase a monthly Crop Box which includes a plethora of fresh produce from our local farms. The purchase of crop boxes helps to sustain the Co-Op and is a great way to participate in the community and benefit from your membership.
In addition to the Crop Boxes, the RFC brings local produce markets to Riverside’s food deserts, creates educational forums about its benefits to the community, and is a member of a broader community of Co-Ops in California. Become a member of the Riverside Food Co-Op in March, you will receive your first Crop Box for Free!
Join today: www.riversidefoodcoop.com
Become a member of the Riverside Food Co-Op in March, you will receive your First Crop Box Free!