Cooperation Town in the News
Freedom published an article about the Free Food Larder and our plans for the future.
The Ham & High wrote about our first Kentish Town co-op.
About Cooperation Town
Cooperation Town was initiated by a group of community organisers together with the Ingestre Community Centre in Kentish Town, north London and the Ingestre Road Tenants and Residents Association.
Its aim is to set up a network of self organised, community led food co-ops on housing estates in every town. We want to do this in order to
Support opportunities for self organisation on a community level
Build resilience through cooperation
Bring people together to share skills, resources and experience
Provide affordable food and household products
The local food co-ops will be run by members, according to local needs. Members will decide collectively on what to buy (and for how much) and will be responsible for the day to day running of the co-op.
Cooperation Town co-ops will be part of a network and will have access to shared resources. They will work to scale the network up through training and mutual support.
The co-op model is not new or radical. It's based on the simple idea that organising together makes us stronger and more resilient - and saves us money!
In Europe and across the UK, neighbourhood food co-ops purchase products in large quantities, directly from wholesalers, for a fraction of the price people pay in corner shops. Fruit, veg, meat, dairy, rice and bread, can all be ordered in bulk, then weighed, packaged and sold at cost value in the community.
There are also charities and businesses which provide free food to established groups.
Co-op members have control over their shopping options, access to better quality food for less money (or for free) and an opportunity to collaborate and organise locally with friends and neighbours.
The project is in its infancy. The first co-op is not yet operational. But we are confident that by working as a network we can make it happen.
You can support the project through donating money via PayPal to https://paypal.me/thetrimmings.
"Years of austerity made us all poorer and at the same time the community services we could once offer at the centre, were completely destroyed by the Tories. This affects every aspect of our users’ lives - from poverty wages to bad housing, benefit sanctions to people going hungry. We see local families families struggle, while the rich are getting richer, and we realise that the only way forward is to care for each other."
Michelle Tedore, Community Centre Manager
"No one wants to depend on handouts and food banks, but people are exhausted just trying to survive. Pooling together and collectivising some of our resources - food, childcare, spaces to socialise - mean that local people can save time and money, get to know our neighbours and, hopefully, start self-organising around wider needs. When faced with further cuts and fewer services, we are going to have to be able to count on each other."
Cooperation Kentish Town Co-organiser