Once I retired, I never imagined myself learning a lot more about current technology! However, during this self-quarantine I have managed to attend a LOT of Zoom meetings (even hosting a few), play games with family via Zoom, chat with grandchildren even more online, take an online course, and even host Joyful Co-op Connections every week on Facebook Live. I guess you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
I have been absolutely amazed at the incredible cooperation between co-ops (Principle 6) and support from our consultants at FCI. There have been multiple Zoom meetings every week with FCI co-op experts offered for all start-up co-ops regarding how we manage to keep reaching our vision of a full-service Food Co-op in our communities during this crazy time. We’re all in this together and the opportunity to share and learn from others is undeniably invaluable! All co-ops are happy when other co-ops use their posts, their ideas, etc. One example of how wonderful this co-op world is!
So what is FCI (Food Co-op Initiative)?
From the FCI website:
FCI aims to increase the number, success and sustainability of new food cooperatives delivering access to healthy food in diverse communities across this country. It provides information, training and technical assistance, as well as seed capital, and engages in research to blaze, maintain and improve the development path for new food coops.
Food Co-op Initiative strives to provide exceptional resources for people in the U.S. working to start a retail food co-op that meets the needs of their community. New startups can use our materials at no charge and are able to reach out to our staff for phone consultations and additional technical help. This open access helps groups get established and incorporated during the early stages of starting a food co-op, putting them on a solid path towards opening a sustainable cooperative grocery store.
All the services of FCI are free of charge. Startups will find it necessary to hire consultants for in-depth services as the co-op project progresses. FCI is always available to answer questions and point you in the right direction.
Food Co-op Initiative is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and relies on grants and donations from the co-op community to help us provide services for new retail food co-ops.
Why am I still so committed to the Cedar Falls Food Co-op? Because during this unprecedented time, I have observed (via social media) how local, currently open co-ops have helped their communities as well as the livelihood of their local farmers and producers in phenomenal ways. I want that for our community, as do all of our 1021 current member-owners! I want you to take advantage of the opportunity before you now! Show your support for YOUR community by becoming a member-owner (if you aren’t already) and bring the Food Co-op to reality right here!