Urban Recipe Food Co-ops

Urban Recipe Food Co-ops for low-income families provide a unique alternative to many traditional food-centered programs. Each individual or family becomes a member of a Co-op of up to 50 families that meets every two weeks. Members volunteer their time and energy to do the lion’s share of what’s necessary to unload, sort, organize and distribute an average of 3,000 pounds of food equitably and according to family size. Urban Recipe Co-ops create food security as well as providing a place where relationships and community are built and the dignity of everyone involved is affirmed.

How It Works

Co-op members arrive at the appointed hour and check in with the secretary. After checking in, each member is encouraged to participate in a handful of different tasks. These include setting out and organizing the correct amount of empty boxes, bringing the food into the distribution room, sorting and organizing the food into categories, portioning out bulk items, and distributing all the food into boxes equitably and according to family size.

Once all the day’s food and goods are loaded into boxes, a business meeting is held. Led by the co-op’s elected leadership, the business meeting typically includes a reflection, community announcements and on occasion an educational portion led by a guest speaker from one of Urban Recipe’s community partners. When the business meeting concludes, the fully stocked food boxes are assigned to each member and members take their boxes and disperse until gathering again in two weeks.

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