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

June 2011                                                                                                      Newsletter no. 5

In This Issue
Project Update
David Thompson Interview
East Lansing Food Co-op, Michigan
Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op, Virginia
Wheatsville Food Co-op, Texas
Tell Us Your Story
Project Update 
Steve Alves, Producer/Director
, Hometown Productions
Franklin Community Co-op
member since 1993
Greenfield, Massachusetts   


Thanks to the 38 co-ops that recently invested in Food For Change, whose names are listed below, we made it through a critical phase and are now back in production.  


In May we filmed an in-depth interview with the eminent co-op historian David Thompson, at the home of Terry Appleby, General Manager of the Co-op Food Stores in Hanover, New Hampshire--one of the country's oldest food co-ops. David, as many of you know, is the author of Weavers of Dreams and the co-author of two other books about co-ops. He has devoted his professional life to advancing the philosophy and values of cooperation and is a consultant on the film. Excerpts from his interview are included in this newsletter.


To date, 65 food co-ops in 25 states are contributing nearly 40 percent of the funds needed to complete and distribute Food For Change. We proceed in good faith knowing that we are providing a genuine service to the 280 existing co-ops as well as to the hundreds of new food co-ops planning to open in the next several years.  


Please review the project's funding plan and consider making an investment or increasing your co-op's contribution. If more co-ops contribute in line with the funding plan we'll have the funds needed to complete the film in time for the 2012 United Nations' International Year of Cooperatives. Next year presents an extraordinary opportunity to educate co-op members, employees, and the general public about the benefits of the cooperation. 

David Thompson Interview

Excerpts from a two-hour interview with co-op historian and activist David Thompson shot in May, 2011. This footage provides a range of topics that will be covered in the film. Each image plays a different clip.   

DThom1 Thompson-1 Thompson-2 

co-ops & the environment       co-ops & local economies            building a better society 

Thompson-3Dthom3 Dthom8 

        co-ops & fair trade                   third wave of co-ops                   co-ops during WWII

 DThom5 DThom7Thompson-4 

      co-ops & the Cold War                 co-ops in the 1960s-70s                2012 - Year of Co-ops 


Having trouble watching the scene? Watch it on Youtube

See more clips from Food For Change            

David FinetProfile of Contributing Co-op 

David Finet, General Manager 

East Lansing Food Co-op  

East Lansing, Michigan


We're contributing $1500 in support of the Food for Change documentary based on the suggestion in the funding plan and because we understand the importance of getting the story of the history of co-ops out so that people will realize how powerful a tool economic cooperation can be in times like these.  


As one of the many co-ops in Michigan, we've seen that our stores provide more than just great food.  We also provide a community for our owners and shoppers in good times and in bad. We believe very strongly that Food for Change will help frame and explain the cooperative ideal, and for that it deserves the support of the coop community.  


The East Lansing Food Co-op was founded as a buying club in the early 1970's and opened its first storefront in 1976. Located in the hometown of Michigan State University (the first land-grant institution in the US), the co-op is owned by 3100 members, employs 19 staff members, and achieved $1.9 million in sales in 2010. We are proud of our longtime support of local growers and producers in this the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country. We are currently hard at work looking into ways to support local food systems and last year we acquired a restored 1947 Co-op brand E3 tractor, which looks like the tractor that is in the trailer of Food For Change.  We'd be glad to loan out our tractor to anyone who wants to use it! 

R. BryantProfile of Contributing Co-op

John Bryant, Director of Marketing 

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op  

Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op has invested $3,500 in this project, following the funding plan, because it supports our Ends which says our store "exists to create a vibrant, local and sustainable cooperative community." We plan to use this important documentary to tell the cooperative story - our story - in hopes to inspire future generations of shoppers, owners and employees to carry on the legacy of the cooperative model.  


We chose to support Food For Change because the cooperative story is one that we all share. Whether or not you have ever been directly involved with a food co-op, the food system that is a part of our everyday life has been forever changed by the men and women that pursued a better way. And the pursuit continues today.


Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op - incorporated in 1975 - provides our community in Southwest Virginia with nutritious food choices and earth-friendly products. Our ownership of more than 2,000 of our neighbors enjoys the thriving business they have created which includes a full service grocery and deli. Operating from cooperative principles, we support sustainable environmental practices, local organic farmers, local businesses, and our community. We looking forward to sharing Food For Change with our cooperative family.


Profile of Contributing Co-op 

Dan Gillotte, General Manager 

Wheatsville Food Co-op 

Wheatsville, Texas 

Wheatsville Food Co-op believes that the cooperative business model is a most awesome model and we think more people need to know about it. That's why we've contributed $5,000 to Food for Change in line with the project's funding plan. 


I can't wait for there to be a high caliber documentary about the awesome and incredible history of food co-ops and to see a good survey of the many amazing and positive things co-ops are doing to improve the world and build community. We're so proud of the great things happening in our co-op and the food co-ops across the country and we love the idea of sharing these stories in the eye-opening and heart-changing media of film. Over the years we've seen many great films help to change the world in a positive manner and I hope that this new food co-op documentary adds to the list of life and world changing documentaries.

As the only retail food co-op in Texas (with our closest neighbor 9 hours away in Arkansas!) we KNOW that more people need to hear the message of food co-ops. We hope that this film has impact on the many people that may have not yet experienced the transformative power of co-ops!

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. 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

Thanks to these co-ops for their recent investment in Food For Change    



Food Conspiracy Co-op*



Davis Food Co-op*

Chico Natural Foods 

North Coast Co-op

Quincy Natural Foods Co-op  

Santa Rosa Community Market



Willimantic Food Co-op 



Moscow Food Co-op*



Common Ground Food Co-op



 Bloomingfoods Cooperative

Maple City Natural Foods Co-op



The Community Mercantile

People's Grocery Co-op



The Common Market



River Valley Market

Wild Oats Market 



People's Food Co-op

East Lansing Food Co-op*

Keweenaw Co-op

Marquette Food Co-op

GreenTree Cooperative Grocery

Grain Train Natural Foods Grocery

Oryana Food Cooperative



Eastside Food Cooperative

Linden Hills Co-op*  

Seward Co-op Grocery

Wedge Community Co-op*

Just Food Co-op


New Mexico 

La Montanita Co-op 


New York

Abundance Cooperative Market


North Carolina

Hendersonville Community Co-op



Coos Head Food Store  



Wheatsville Food Co-op *   



Brattleboro Food Co-op

Hunger Mountain Co-op



Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op*



Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op*  



Viroqua Food Co-op  


* investing according to the funding plan 

FFClogoFood For Change Updates

Hometown Productions 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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