Company : Monadnock Food Co-op
Program category : Food

Origins:

The Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, NH opened its doors for the first time on April 3, 2013.  One of our store’s founding visions is to create an accessible, community-owned downtown food market that welcomes and connects community.  Providing access to healthy, local and organic food is a core value and critical component to our Co-op’s success, along with fostering a healthy, thriving community.

In our region, 33% of students qualify for the federal government’s free and reduced school lunch program.  At the same time, fifty-nine percent of adults are overweight or obese, and about 11% of residents get food from the Community Kitchen of Keene.  The Monadnock Food Co-op wants to contribute to community solutions around these issues of hunger and obesity in our region.

With these goals and realities in mind, the Monadnock Food Co-op launched its Healthy Food for All Program (HFFA) this fall, an initiative that makes healthy, local and organic food options more affordable.  The Program gives a 10% discount to people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, reducing the financial barrier to choosing healthy food options.

The HFFA Program was developed with technical support from the Cooperative Fund of New England and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association.  It is an innovative alternative to an aged-based discount (senior discount) and awards benefits to those who are most in financial need: http://monadnockfood.coop/healthy-food/.

Contribution:

The Monadnock Food Co-op will cover 100% of the costs of this program as an ongoing operating expense and has contributed $300 to the Healthy Food for All Program to date. We currently have 34 enrollees and we hope to have two hundred by this time next year. 

Objectives:

Our objectives for the Healthy Food for All Program are to:

  • Support local efforts to end hunger and ensure that all children and families have access to healthy, affordable foods by collaborating with our community partners on future projects, programs and policies.
  • Increase our Healthy Food for All Program enrollment through outreach to local and state level human service organizations.
  • Build a more local, sustainable food system in our region, diverting sales from non-local sources to local sources at our store. 

Impact:

Our objectives for the Healthy Food for All Program are to:

  • Support local efforts to end hunger and ensure that all children and families have access to healthy, affordable foods by collaborating with our community partners on future projects, programs and policies.
  • Increase our Healthy Food for All Program enrollment through outreach to local and state level human service organizations.
  • Build a more local, sustainable food system in our region, diverting sales from non-local sources to local sources at our store. 

Quote:

The FMI Community Outreach Award would provide us the opportunity to greatly expand the awareness of our HFFA program and, in turn, the number of program participants.  This award would help us reach our goal of making our healthy food offerings available to everyone, regardless of income. 

~ Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op General Manager