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Food for Change: Making a case for alternative economies


The beauty of the era we find ourselves living right now is that the technology we use on a daily basis allows us immediate access to information as we seek to understand and solve complex problems in society. 

One area that Rapid Growth has been tracking for some time has been our local cooperative movement in all of its forms, from housing and fiber to a brewery and grocery store.

On Friday, Feb. 24 at the West Michigan Food Co-op a new documentary, “Food for Change,”  will be screened for locals who are curious about this alternative form of community wealth building.

Hosted by the Grand Rapids Food Co-op Initiative, the 82-minute documentary showcases the history of the food co-op movement in three distinct and easy-to-digest parts. 

Part one explores the conditions that led to the Great Depression -- a time that mirrors much of our present age, when fraudulent credit schemes, corporate control dominated systems, and an alarming increase of wealth disparity emerged in America. Co-ops began to play an increasingly important role during this period, offering a brief glimmer of hope and access for so many citizens who had been left out of the economic recovery of this time period. This movement would be short-lived as the post-World War II era brought new economic advances and challenges. 

Part two looks at co-ops as they begin to gain a new popularity during the 1960s, just as a new go natural movement began to take hold during a time when folks began to eye contemporary society and ask more questions from those in the food business. 

Part three brings us to the present, when local farmers, co-ops, and discerning consumers seek to wrestle back control of their local food economies. This documentary is sure to spur a lot of local dialogue on a topic growing more and more present in our society. 

Right before the screening will be a short presentation from local co-ops. Since this is an indoor picnic style event, please bring your own blanket or a folding chair. The event organizers will provide popcorn and other snacks for a small expense.

Please be respectful of the New Beginnings restaurant’s parking and use the co-op’s lot. 

Admission: Organizers are asking for a suggested donation of $5 per person or $10 per family to cover the cost of screening this documentary. 
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