"Sprout into Action" Campaign Kicks Off 1/6/14

You may be hearing more about the Bethlehem Food Co-op in 2014 – Don’t be surprised if your neighbors stop by to drop off a brochure or invite you to a dinner party to talk about the benefits of member-ownership.

Sprout Into ActionIn order to open its doors by July 2015, the co-op will need over 1,000 member-owners.  The Bethlehem Food Co-op is ringing in 2014 with a new campaign urging people to “Sprout into Action” by becoming member-owners of the co-op. The campaign will include neighborhood canvasses, electronic communications, and events such as dinner parties and training sessions.
 
Co-op organizers have been working since late 2011, after an initial meeting which drew nearly 100 people to the Bethlehem Area Public Library.  The goal is to open a full-service grocery store in one of Bethlehem’s downtowns.  Unlike stores like Giant or Wegmans, co-ops are owned completely by their member-owners.  Lifetime member-ownership involves a one-time equity investment of $300 per household, which can be paid in $25 monthly installments.  And although anyone will be able to shop at the store, becoming a member-owner has its benefits: every member-owner household has a say in everything from store policy to the board of directors, can run for leadership positions, and is eligible for a patronage rebate at the end of each year.
 
Board member Cathy Reuscher says “The new year is a great time to resolve to invest in the community of Bethlehem by becoming a part of the co-op.” She adds that the co-op will support local farmers, generate well-paying jobs, and bring healthy and affordable food to families downtown.
 
Anyone interested in learning more about the Bethlehem Food Co-op is invited to attend a public meeting, held on the first Monday of each month at 7pm in room 521 of the NCC Fowler Family Center on 3rd Street in Bethlehem. January’s meeting is on the 6th, and will include an optional “ambassador training” preceding the meeting at 6pm. The training will give member-owners the tools they need to effectively communicate the mission of the co-op to their friends and neighbors.

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