On the Heels of a membership milestone and successful Garden Tour fund raiser we have the following news to share with members, prospective members and everyone who supports the cooperative movement! Since the founding of the South Philly Food Co-op in 2010, 300+ members have invested time and equity toward the establishment of a member-owned grocery store that will provide nutritious food to all South Philadelphia residents. The impact of those investments has just been significantly amplified thanks to a major grant from The Reinvestment Fund (TRF), a national leader in the financing of neighborhood revitalization projects. The South Philly Food Co-op has been awarded a $25,000 Food Access Grant — a huge vote of confidence in the mission and leadership of the South Philly Food Co-op, an assurance that the large majority of its members’ investments will go directly to opening the store, and a giant boost for what the Co-op will be able to accomplish in the immediate future. “This grant and TRF’s support is fantastic validation for 29 months and literally thousands of hours of work by our all-volunteer group of committee, board and community members,” said Alison Fritz, President of the South Philly Food Co-op Board of Directors. "This funding will help us take a HUGE step forward in developing the talent, systems, capital and vision necessary for the success of the Co-op.” The Food Access Grant Program endeavors to assist food-based nonprofits to undertake programs and projects that will expand underserved Pennsylvania residents’ access to healthy food choices; create and preserve quality jobs; and foster an environment that supports the development of community-based food cooperatives. The South Philly Food Co-op will use the grant to move even closer to opening a storefront through:
- Building infrastructure and internal systems (including CiviCRM, its constituent relationship management system);
- Developing a pro forma with the expertise of a consultant to model the anticipated cash flows and revenues necessary for lenders
- Honing its business plan; and
- Creating a more dynamic and sustainable organization that is prepared for the next stage of development.