Neighborfood is Abundance Food Co-op’s food and nutrition literacy program.
Why a food and nutrition literacy program?
As we prepare to move into our new home at 571 South Avenue, we recognize the barriers that exist for a large number of South Wedge residents to accessing nutritious, affordable foods. We are dedicated to increasing food access and nutrition education in our new neighborhood, and so we created Neighborfood as a way of connecting with the individuals and families who live in the seven different subsidized housing complexes that are located within a 0.5 square mile of our new store. All counted, there are 1,114 apartment units across all of the buildings.
Outside of the Averill Avenue FoodLink distribution site at Calvary St. Andrews (a church with over 125 years of service to its community) and the South Wedge Farmers’ Market, there are few opportunities currently available for residents to learn about healthy eating, natural foods, and how they can purchase it on a budget close to where they live.
As a food co-op, we follow the Seven Cooperative Principles, among which is “Concern for Community.” Since the 1970s, food co-ops have played a pivotal role in the United States advocating for food justice, local economies, and community access to healthy food.
How does Neighborfood work?
Our goal is to provide opportunities within each complex for learning the basics of cooking and nutrition, and to show that “healthy eating” does not necessarily mean “expensive.”
Each month, we will visit a different housing complex and hold an educational meal. Attendees will enjoy a nutritious, low-cost meal cooked by the Abundance deli. Alongside the meal, a workshop will be held about the featured meal: how it was made, what ingredients were used, and what it cost. We will provide different resources for those who attend to take home with them.
We are crowdfunding for this initiative to reach a goal of $3,335, which will allow us to purchase the equipment we need for transporting and serving food off-site, developing quality resources for those who attend, and to coordinate staff to ensure a monthly schedule of visits. We are beginning our crowdfunding through the Round Up at the Register program in-store, and will launch an online campaign in the coming month.