The SLC Green: Steps Towards a Food Co-op

Sarah Lawrence Food Co-op? Sarah Lawrence Food Cooperative? Sarah Lawrence Food Collective? Maybe you’ve heard one of these phrases circulating around campus in the past couple of months. Maybe you haven’t. After this Thursday, chances are you will be more familiar.

Since our return from winter break, a group of students have been meeting to share food and ideas. These potluck dinners serve as a space to discuss how to build a food co-op on campus. Through the meals we share, we work to build a community around food, labor, agricultural, and environmental issues. The cooperative is an experiment in an alternative collective way of organizing our everyday lives on and around this campus. As a collective, we aim to participate in local economies and in doing so, support environmentally and socially sustainable practices. Bulk-buying of goods like grains and dried beans is a short-term priority. We’re thinking about organizing weekly van trips to Union Square to facilitate access to other local products, and reduce transportation costs.

The long-run vision of the food co-op is a less concrete entity at this early stage, but has begun to take shape. Some of us envision a cafe fully-stocked with homemade, locally sourced food. Others, a permanent place to store and distribute bulk goods among co-op members for home use. Most of us, some combination. We have plans of action, ideas, and goals, but are very much learning through our process.

By partnering with local producers and buying wholesale, we want to facilitate avenues towards a just food system on campus. We aim to cultivate loyal and diverse relationships that will support local economies and land stewardship, preserve and cultivate diverse, productive landscapes, promote resource sharing, and increase access to nourishing food across lines of race, class, and gender.

Interested? Make your way to the North Lawn this Thursday, March 8, between 11:30am and 3:30pm. We’ll have a table full of food for the taking and members of the food co-op eager to share ideas, plans, and ways for all of us to get involved. Come to our meetings on Sundays in MacCracken meeting room at 6:30pm. Or email us: slcfoodcoop@gmail.com

Cooperatives come in many forms. We envision our co-op as a group that prioritizes justice and works for equity across multiple differences including race, ethnicity, nationality, class, ability, gender, and sexuality. Pooling resources as a member-driven enterprise allows for a greater amount of autonomy to practice these principles. We are also initiating transparent dialogue with administration to set concrete goals at the institutional level that reflect the urgent need for food system changes. We are learning together as we go and believe that another meal is possible.

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