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Kitsap Community Food Co-op awarded grant
The Kitsap Community Food Co-op has been named one of 14 co-ops to receive a total of $100,000 in grants from the Food Co-op Initiatve, the awarding organization announced last month.
The funds come from the Food Co-op Initiative’s Seed Grant Program, made possible by a USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant awarded the organization to promote new co-op development. According to a statement released by KCFC, the award will be used to help pay for professional business development, market studies, and member recruitment.
“The public interest in food co-ops is at an all-time high,” said Stuart Reid, executive director of the awarding organization. “In many rural areas, grocery stores have closed and chain operators are not interested in the smaller markets. However, by owning and controlling their own cooperative store, communities are able to ensure stable access to healthy food, provide meaningful jobs, and support local producers. Rural food co-ops can become both an economic anchor and a social hub for the community.”
Other Seed Grants include co-ops New York, Alaska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. KCFC said it would be required to raise matching funds in the Kitsap community and that it planned to collaborate with Food Co-op Initiative throughout their development process.