A Philadelphia community co-op is nearing its goal as it tries to raise enough money to open a grocery store focused on "fresh" and "local" food at the sight of a former bar.
The Kensington Community Food Co-op extended its "25 in 25" Campaign where mission-driven food distributor The Common Market pledged to match member donations up to $25,000. As of midweek, KCFC had gotten 90 percent to its goal.
"Reaching our $25,000 campaign fundraising goal by this Sunday will unlock an additional $25,000 in matching loans from The Common Market, for a total of $50,000 to support KCFC," secretary of KCFC board of directors, Caiti Rothenberg, told NBC10. "With a plan to open our store by the end of 2017, we are now in our final fundraising push so these funds will really make a difference."
More than 80 member-owners have already committed hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the $1.9 million project to open a 2,000-plus-square-foot, community-staffed grocery store, café and bar along Coral Street at Lehigh and Frankford avenues. The store, which will take over the space of a defunct Irish pub, will feature takeout beer growlers, prepared foods, outdoor garden seating and parking for bikes and cars, according to KCFC.
"Opening a cooperative grocery store as a volunteer-run, community based organization is no small feat, and it has been wonderful to see our community come together to support this project," Rothenberg said. "We truly believe that opening a food co-op to serve the River Wards neighborhoods will increase access to healthy, local food while creating good jobs for neighborhood residents and a community-oriented space."
Even with The Common Market matching program, KCFC remained about $350,000 short of its goal as of mid-March, so they hope for more members to join, organizers said. KCFC member loan programs start at $1,000 per household of an individual can fully invest for a one-time $200 payment.