You are receiving this email because somewhere, at some point, you expressed interest in the existence of a community food cooperative in Saskatoon's city centre.
For over two months now a group of local residents have been working to address the closing of the Shop Easy grocery store at 7th and Princess. In that time we have been working to:
- explore affordable food access in the downtown area
- develop a community food store in City Park
- create a food access cooperative that supports skills-building and health for its members
The following update will give you an idea of what we've been up to since we first presented our idea at the City Park Association meeting on September 17, 2015.
Removal of the land sale caveat
Initially, Loblaw Companies Ltd – the parent owner of Shop Easy – had a restrictive covenant on the sale of the land, prohibiting future owners from selling food, alcohol, cigarettes and flowers (among other items). This prohibitive measure was the single largest impediment to a replacement local food option at the Shop Easy location. Thanks to a successful lobbying efforts of many people, Loblaw agreed to remove the restrictive language!
Regardless of what opens in the former Shop Easy space, it will be a while before there is a food store in the area (cooperative or otherwise). To ensure that local residents have access to good food in the meantime, we are working with CHEP (a community agency that improves access to good food) and the Saskatoon Community Service Village (a centrally located community centre) to develop a weekly community market. Hurray!
The market launches this month and we will sell a limited array of fruits and vegetables. Over time, with feedback from the community, we hope to expand the array of food for sale. Details will be posted on our Facebook page and Twitter account as it becomes available.
January 2016 market dates:
- Thursday, January 14
- Thursday, January 28
Saskatoon Community Service Village is located at 506 25th Street East (near the corner of 5th Avenue North).
If you are interested in volunteering (helping to set up or tear down the market, sell food and/or assist with marketing), please send Sugandhi an email.
Given the ongoing struggle for healthy food access in the city centre, we are working cooperatively to make it easier for people to buy good food. We want to improve peoples' access to food - geographic and financial - as a collective voice. The City Centre Food Cooperative (CCFC) aims to ultimately open a community food store and, in the meantime, create opportunities to purchase good food in the community.
Local and city-wide support of CCFC is critical to success. The cooperative serves local community needs, but also has the potential to bring people to the neighbourhood from across the city. At present, we are working on the process of incorporating as a non-profit cooperative. Moving forward, there will be opportunities for people to contribute in a number of different ways, including volunteering, membership drives, and fundraising.
Have a wonderful day!
The City Centre Food Cooperative