You can't give people a co-op
This wise statement was made by a long-time co-op organizer. I think this is a profound statement and directly confronts a malady of our society today. We pretty much expect most things to come to us for free. We have free apps on our phones, we can access free news articles, we avoid taxes as much as possible. In our city, Grand Rapids, we have some very wealthy and generous donors who have helped build important venues and social services to revitalize our city and make it a very desirable place to live. So it is very easy to begin thinking that we don't need to invest our hard earned money back into the community to help it thrive.
There is a very subtle trap to this kind of thinking. It keeps us effectively living in a feudal economy. We begin to think that if the big donors aren't behind a project then it will never come to fruition. We rely on the foundations to make the needed changes for social justice. We can bask in their good works. And we are therefore dependents rather than actors. Co-ops are a powerful way to move us out of this feudal mindset and come together to make needed change ourselves. With our own dollars, our own energy and ideas, our own businesses we can envision and bring to fruition the change we want to see. I hope you will join us to bring the best food possible to central Grand Rapids where food access is most challenging. And maybe even think about starting other co-ops to make other much needed changes in our community.
Linda Jones, Founder and Co-President.