Southside Community Coalition awarded CNY Community Foundation grant toward creation of community food co-op

The Central New York Community Foundation recently announced that the Southside Community Coalition will receive a $5,000 grant in support of the group’s efforts to create a community food cooperative in Syracuse’s South Side neighborhood. Unlike a traditional supermarket, the cooperative model ensures that as long as the community wants a grocery store, it will continue to operate.

The Southside Community Coalition and its partners (Syracuse University South Side Initiative, GroundWorks Capital Coalition and the SU Community Development Law Clinic) have been working on the food cooperative project for more than two years. Foundation support will be used to increase local awareness of the project, communicate the importance of healthy eating, and educate residents about the benefits of a community-owned and -operated grocery store.

“The Southside Community Coalition is elated to receive support from the CNY Community Foundation,” says Antonisha Trapps, the Southside Community Coalition’s project manager for the food co-op. By creating a grocery store that will be owned and controlled in equal share by each co-op member, the Southside Community Coalition and partners are working toward a vision of a revitalized, healthier South Side.

The Southside Community Coalition and its partners are working hard to make sure that South Side residents have an opportunity to purchase fresh produce in their own neighborhood even before the store opens. Since fall 2008, the coalition has sponsored “Store for a Day” events at 2617 South Salina St., offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to South Side residents at an affordable price. The “Store for a Day” is held the third Saturday of each month. Community members can support the food co-op project-and stock up for their holiday cooking-at the next store on Saturday, Jan. 17, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (or until the produce sells out).