The Difference a Food Co-op Can Make

by FCS on



“We’re a family!” Miss Effa exclaimed with a bright smile as co-op members dragged boxes of food across the FCS floor.

Every two weeks, the South Atlanta Food Co-op meets for a morning of community, work, and fellowship. For a biweekly $4 fee, fifty members meet to take part in the co-op organized by Urban Recipe. After a truck arrives with the groceries, co-op members unload, sort, count, organize, and distribute the food amongst the community. Then, neighbors in the co-op steering committee lead the group in a meeting with devotional time, announcements, and an occasional guest speaker.

After being on the co-op waitlist for a year, Miss Effa received a call that there was an open spot. She has been an enthusiastic member ever since! Miss Effa shares that as a person with diabetes, the food co-op has been especially impactful on her life. She says she’s been eating healthier thanks to the access to fruits and vegetables. And the light manual labor of the co-op has increased her exercise. At a physician’s visit just six months after joining the co-op, Miss Effa’s doctor remarked that she was losing weight and her diabetes was improving.

Miss Effa is the secretary of the food co-op and says she does her best to keep everything, and everyone, in line. When Miss Effa joined the food co-op, she knew just one other member. Since then, the other members have become her family.

She says, “We may tease each other, but we do love each other!” Miss Effa says she would recommend the food co-op to anyone - and indeed she has! At least three other members in the room joined the food co-op based on her recommendation. She encourages anyone who will listen to get involved.

On a typical week, members might receive a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables, cereal, nuts, canned beans or vegetables, and more. In the event that Miss Effa receives something she doesn’t know how to prepare, she says, “We all get on the phones and call each other! Someone will know what to do.” The sense of community extends beyond the bi-weekly meetings and into the week.

We celebrate with Miss Effa as she’s experienced improved health, weight loss, and a valuable community. She says the difference in her life has been noticed not only by her doctor, but also her son. We are grateful to Urban Recipe for leading this innovative solution to food insecurity and honored to share our space with these incredible co-op members through the month!

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