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Cooperative Principle #7: Concern for Community 


Good evening PFC peeps!

For the past several weeks we've been exploring the seven Cooperative Principles in the enews. These principles are at the core of what we do and how we do it as a consumer-owned cooperative business from being open to all and controlled by the community, to our passion for learning and cooperation. The seventh principle is Concern for Community - perhaps my favorite of all!

As you well know by now, PFC exists to create access for all to food that's healthy for people, land and economy. Concern for Community is all throughout that mission statement: for all, healthy for people, healthy for economy. Cooperatives are uniquely suited to build the local economy in a way that betters the community. Here are just a few of the many ways we strive to leave Kalamazoo in a better place at the end of every day:

  • Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression work - PFC is committed to access for all. And we're well aware of systemic and structural barriers that limit access to good food, as well as employment, education, healthcare and so much more. These barriers impact many folks of marginalized identities, arguably most extremely People of Color. PFC staff and board are actively engaged in better understanding these oppressions, addressing how pricing and selection are at play in our store and market, and looking to our Anti-Racism Transformation Team for leadership to keep moving our community in a more equitable direction. Slow, hard work. And worth it.
  • Change for Change - Now in its third year, Change for Change is simple: round up your grocery bill to the nearest dollar, and the change goes to do good in our community, last year to the tune of $25,000! Thank you for your concern for community!
  • Local purchasing - Improving the local economy through engaging and empowering our community's small businesses is what our store and market operations are all about! Over 25% of our store purchases were from local businesses, and we estimate about $1.5M in local commerce facilitated at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market last year!
  • Environmental efforts - From our new robust composting efforts at Kalamazoo Farmers Market to the many ways in which our store's design limits energy use and emissions, PFC has deep concern for our planet and all the communities of living beings that must thrive.

So much to be proud of in the work we do together as a cooperative! Thank you for your continued efforts and participation in our very unique, very much needed community-owned, locally grown business. We cannot do this without each other.

As we head into the end of the week, I would also like to encourage you to put a few things on your calendar: 

  • Saturday, May 4 - Opening Day of Kalamazoo Farmers Market!! - That's right, it's almost here! Thanks to all that came out to help clean up the site last weekend. Gaby and Grace, our PFC Markets team, have a great season planned for you this year!
  • Sunday, May 12 - Mother's Day Grow It Yourself Day plant sale - Come treat mom to Cinzori certified organic vegetable, flower and herb starts, and brunch on the hot bar!
  • Saturday, May 18 - Kalamazoo Wild Ones Native Plant Sale - complement your various gardens and plantings with natives that support pollinators and provide habitat. Come get the best selection in natives and benefit an excellent organization.

Thanks y'all! You rock!