Food For Change 
A Documentary Film About The Co-op Movement & Food Co-ops Today

March 2011                                                                                                      Newsletter no. 4

In This Issue
Project Update
Tell Us Your Story
View Clip from Food For Change
Whole Food Co-op, Duluth, Minnesota
Linden Hills Co-op, Minneapolis, Minnesota
BriarPatch Co-op, Grass Valley, California
Project Update 
Steve Alves, Producer/Director
, Hometown Productions
Franklin Community Co-op
member since 1993
Greenfield, Massachusetts


The world premiere of Food For Change will take place a year from today, on Saturday March 24, 2012, in hundreds of co-ops, community organizations, colleges, and universities across the country. The event will attract national and local media coverage and will spur a renewed interest in co-ops and membership. That's the plan. Let us know if your co-op, community group, or college would like to be included in this event.     


Food For Change tells the complex story of co-ops in North America since the Great Depression culminating with the efforts by today's food co-ops to develop regional food systems. 29 co-ops in 16 states have joined together to produce Food For Change. Your support is needed to complete this movie. If your co-op has not yet invested in this project, please consider making a contribution today--see funding plan. All investments are held by our non-profit fiscal sponsor and shall not be spent until we have the funds needed to complete the film and carry out the distribution plan. Should we not raise the investments needed, funds will be returned. We are at a critical point so please give this project your full consideration.

BloomingfoodsLinden Hills Co-opHunger Mountain Co-opNorth Coast Co-op


Tell Us Your Story

Across North America food co-ops are becoming principal players in the local food movement. Cooperative leaders believe this is not only the right thing to do: it's also a competitive advantage when faced with increased competition from giant corporate grocery chains selling certified organic food. Food For Change tells this inspiring story and the deeper role that co-ops play to promote the health and economic well-being of their communities. Below is a clip from the movie about a young farm family that credits co-ops and the principles of cooperation with helping them to become established. It is but one of many scenes in the film that shows the ways that co-ops are planning ahead. Send us an e-mail to let us know what your co-op is doing to create local food systems so we can come out and film in your area. 
Littleton Food Co-opGreen Fields Market Rainbow Co-opThe Food Co-op
             View Clip from Food For Change   

Bruce and Jenny Wooster are an example of a bright new crop of educated and motivated farmers rising up throughout the country. They are deeply committed to the principles of cooperation while operating their farm in Winchester, New Hampshire. Click on any image below to play their scene from the movie.  


            Picadilly farm       jenny     

            bruce         Bruce
Having trouble watching the scene? Watch it on Youtube.
See more clips from Food For Change    

Sharon MurphyProfile of Contributing Co-op

Sharon Murphy, General Manager 

Whole Foods Co-op  

Duluth, Minnesota


We initially chose to invest $1,000 in the co-op documentary Food For Change as it reflects our Board ENDS Statement "... to create a healthy community including, but not limited to, a healthy regional food system."  However, we recently increased that commitment to a total of $5,000 invested over two years as we will also use the film for our staff classes and public presentations on co-op history.We have a new independent and very comfy local theatre, the Zinema.Our first effort at sponsoring a couple films for the public on food issues was well received, and we look forward to hosting Food for Change.


Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, MN, started as a buying club in 1970 but opened its first retail location before the end of that year.We promoted "whole" foods to the Twin Ports (Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI) in the 70's, "natural" foods in the 80's, "organic" foods in the 90's, and "green" products, packaging and recycling options in the last decade.Now we promote the LOCAL connections we've developed and nurtured for over 40 years with growers, producers and sustainable farming organizations, as well as the CO-OP principles and business model that none of our competitors can, well, co-opt!

Allie Mentzer Profile of Contributing Co-op

Allie Mentzer, Marketing and Member Services Manager

Linden Hills Co-op 

Minneapolis, Minnesota 


It is our hope that Steve Alves' beautifully crafted film will generate new enthusiasm for the cooperative model. We will be contributing $6,000 over the next two years to the completion of the film. As Food for Change will reveal, co-ops are at their strongest during economically or environmentally unsettled times like these. Now is a crucial time to share the co-operative model broadly, so that together we can nourish our families and reinvigorate our local economies. Co-operators are problem solvers. Food for Change will remind us all of that simple, glorious fact. Many thanks to Steve Alves, his production team and Franklin Community Co-op for telling our story. We'll be contributing as much cash as we can. If you'd like to do the same, please invest now.


Linden Hills Co-op supports the Food for Change project because we value our shared cooperative history and our co-op's role as a viable alternative to a food system based on international agribusiness. Nevertheless, we often struggle in our efforts to communicate our core values to the general public. With "natural" food available on almost any grocery shelf, just what exactly is it that makes our co-op different from our big box competitors?  More so than almost any other media, film has the capacity to transform a complex idea into a story, eliciting an emotional response that leads to change. 


Linden Hills Co-op was founded during the 1970s wave of cooperative growth. Today Linden Hills Co-op is still a community owned grocery store, now owned by roughly 6500 of our neighbors. We partner with hundreds of local producers to bring our member-owners products that are healthy for them, the environment and the community. You'll find local meats, produce and dairy; locally made, award-winning artisan provisions, budget friendly bulk goods; a full-service deli with a sunny seating area; plus, a community room where, in time, we will host our Food for Change film screenings.

ChrisMaherProfile of Contributing Co-op

Chris Maher, General Manager 

BriarPatch Co-op Natural Foods Community Market 

Grass Valley, California

BriarPatch is supporting the Food for Change film with a donation of $5000, to be paid in two years. As one of very few cooperatives in our region, it is a challenge to communicate what co-ops are all about. People in our community, especially younger people, are unfamiliar with the concept and history. As natural and organic foods become increasingly popular and large grocery chains carry more of them, communicating the value of our food co-ops is increasingly important.


Video/film, as a friendly and popular medium, is an ideal way to communicate the complex ideas of cooperation, and the rich history of food co-ops in particular. But since producing films is time-consuming and expensive, it is out of the scope of what we could achieve ourselves for the foreseeable future. We look forward to having the Food for Change film as an educational tool for developing our community's understanding of the broader benefits of food cooperatives and for increasing our ownership base.


BriarPatch Co-op Natural Foods Community Market is nestled in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Grass Valley, California. Founded in 1976, today BriarPatch is a thriving market with 165 employees, annual sales of $16.6 million in 2010, and 4,500 owners. We offer abundant fresh organic and local produce, an extensive bulk foods section, local grassfed beef, sustainable seafood, organic pantry staples, natural cleaning supplies, the very best vitamins and supplements, and a smorgasbord of delicious, nutritious, ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

FFClogoFood For Change Updates

Hometown Productions now has a Facebook page, where you can see updates on Food For Change and all our current Co-op Contributors. You can also get updates on Twitter and see all our publicly released clips on Youtube.   

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