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Low income residents like food Co-op idea in Bloomington Normal

Tue, 04 Dec 2012 16:56:13 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

ISU researchers have found there is keen interest among low income residents in a food co-op such as the one Green Top Grocery advocates are trying to start. Professor Joan Brehm says graduate students conducted the focus group surveys of low income residents from two neighborhoods which found people are motivated by social issues in addition to price of food even, low income people who have less to spend...

"People talked a lot about shopping where they feel welcome, where they feel accepted, where they feel comfortable. And they will often choose those places over other placfes thay maybe have lower prices."

Members of the discussion sessions also showed desire for culturally relevant food items in addition to food security to cover the basics of nutrition and talked about the location of a cooperative.

"And expressed a real concern for having it at least near some line of public transportation like a bus route. Not everyone has private transportation and so they really were concerned that the co-op would be physically accessible to them"

Brehm says the groups also found many are still unsure what a co-op is, showing Green Top needs to do more community education. She also says the focus groups indicated Green Top should work within existing networks such as the Western Avenue Community Center in Bloomington and the Unity Center in Normal to build trust in their mission. Green Top is a collective that is trying to start a grocery co-op committed to locally grown food.


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