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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!



May Change for Change: Mothers of Hope

May's Change for Change supports Mothers of Hope. When you round up your purchase during May, your change goes toward empowering and strengthening women, families, and communities to rise above the effects of substance use disorders, poverty, violence and systemic inequities.

Strength in Adversity is the basis on which Mothers of Hope was founded. As dedicated women primarily from Kalamazoo, Mothers of Hope embodies the power that mothers possess to support our families and the focused determination to affect positive change in our community. Their charge is simple... empower mothers in an effort to better our community. Through their various efforts, Mothers of Hope is committed to ensuring that our neighborhoods are well educated and equipped with all the knowledge and resources available to guarantee a better quality of life for all people here in Kalamazoo.

For more information on Mothers of Hope, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook.


Applying for Change for Change

Thank you for your interest in PFC's Change for Change program!

Every time you shop at PFC, a friendly PFC cashier asks if you'd like to round up your purchase to the nearest dollar. When you round up, all of your change goes toward the Change for Change organization for that month. 

Many people within PFC are involved in the selection of Change for Change recipients. Recipients are currently selected three months at a time, with one organization receiving Change for Change donations for one month.

PFC's Antiracism Transformation Team has developed some criteria for Change for Change selection, including:

  • alignment with PFC Ends
  • antiracist and anti-oppressive values
  • priority given to organizations for and by People of Color
  • priority given to those located in or serving the Northside and/or Eastside neighborhoods in Kalamazoo
  • priority given to organizations with smaller budgets, in which donations through Change for Change may have a higher impact

If you meet the above criteria, please email with the following information:

  • Your organization's name and mission
  • What kind of work does your organization do in the community?
  • How does your organization's work complement PFC's Ends of creating access for all to food that is healthy for people, land, and ecomony?
  • How would your organization benefit from donations from Change for Change?
  • Contact information for a representative from your organization. Having someone from your organization attend a staff meeting at PFC is very helpful in informing staff about your organization so we can answer questions from shoppers when it's time to round up.

The deadline for consideration for October, November, and December 2019 is August 4.