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Food Co-op Growing

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If you get the munchies very often the People's Food Co-op is for you. All week long you can munch on fresh fruit - cherries, peaches, apples, oranges, plums - almost anything, and in between you can eat a healthy meal of fresh vegetables to keep the energy flowing.

The food co-op began last January thru the Tribal Council when some of us got together and decided we needed an alternative to the local A&P and Wrigley's. We got together with some friends and each of us put in $4 so three people could go to the Eastern Market in Detroit and buy cases of the food we would need. It ended up that we each got two big grocery bags filled with a huge variety of food.

That first week we had only eight people putting their energy and money together to beat the honky food racket - the next week the number of people involved doubled to 16, then it doubled again, and again, and again until we have gotten to the point where we are at now. The People's Food Co-op now serves over 250 communes, families, and groups, which amounts to well over 1,000 people altogether. Just like the Community Park Program, Drug Help, Ozone House, the Free Medical Clinic, and other people's organizations in Ann Arbor, the Food Co-op is affiliated with the Ann Arbor Tribal Council, through which we try to coordínate all our various activities.

The way the co-op is run is that each week people pay their $4, and 5-6 people get up at 6:00 Saturday morning to go to Detroit with 2 vans and buy the food - then about 10 or 15 people gather at our two distribution points and help separate and bag the food into the individual orders. We really need people to help with these things - especially getting access to vans, or we simply will not be able to continue. This is a co-op, which means that people should share in the work and volunteer their time, not just relate to it like some hip grocery store or something. Nobody is getting paid for any of this--we're doing it to help our sisters and brothers and to build self-determination for our people. WE have to provide our own alternative to the existing structures and the only way for us to do it is by working TOGETHER. We are beginning to form a People's Food Committee to strengthen and tighten our organizational forms and set up various sub-committees of people to investigate different areas we could expand into. We will be checking into the possibilities of opening a storefront and what that would involve, legally and financially, researching suppliers and local farmers, and forming alliances with other organizations. We also need tight groups of people to help coordínate the activities at our two distribution points, the Tri House Co-op on Forest just south of Hill St., and at 634 S. Main at the corner of Mosley. We need people to buy the food, people with vans to help shop, people to help separate and bag it, and people to help clean up afterwards, if you are interested in working with us, we will be having weekly meetings every Wednesday at 7:30 on the 3rd floor of the SAB. Come on over and offer any suggestions, help, criticisms, or remarks you may have. If you are interested in joining, bring your $4 over to 1520 Hill St. anytime before 8:00 Friday evening (checks must be in by Thursdays) and pick up your food at either distribution point (specify which you prefer) Saturday between 2:30 and 6:00. If you have any questions or would like to help, call Peggy at 761-1709. Remember this is the People's Co-op and can only continue if we all work on it together. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!