Monday, May 4, 2009

Food Co-ops Featured in Indiana Living Green

Environmental steward Julie L. Rhodes recently wrote an article for the magazine Indiana Living Green about food co-ops in the state of Indiana. It's a really nice look at the situation of community-owned grocery stores, as interest in them grows. Here in Bloomington, our co-op goes so beautifully hand-in-hand with the farmers markets. Together, we are able to really make a difference in the quality of food (and thus the quality of life) available to people here.

It's a privilege to work with an organization that is so vibrantly and visibly committed to what we call a triple bottom line: financial success (in order to ensure a strong business offering good jobs with benefits); enivronmental responsibility (striving to be eco-leaders); and community involvement and support (building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships). In practical terms, triple bottom line accounting means expanding the traditional reporting framework to take into account ecological and social performance in addition to financial performance: turns out that food co-ops have been doing that from their inception.

This link will take you to the article, called "Food Co-ops Nourish Community." The photos here are from outside Bloomingfoods Near West Side; the billboard shows the store 65 years ago and today. When we renovated that building a couple of years ago, transforming it from a popular but under-performing restaurant into a grocery store with café, we learned that it had also been a food store in the past, with deliveries unloaded from the trains running nearby. Now the old train track is being transformed into a B-line Trail through town for bikes and pedestrians. Yay – more safety for those walker-biker-car pooling-bus riders who wear the button: I Walbicus. Do you?

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