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

December 2011                                                                                       Newsletter no. 6 

In This Issue
Project Update
FFC at Linden Hills
NFCA and Food For Change
Rob HProject Update 
Rob Hagelstein, Co-producer

Franklin Community Co-op
Greenfield, Massachusetts  

Our perilous economy has once again heightened interest in cooperatives. Activities not seen since the 1970s, and before that in the 1930s, are taking place throughout the country. The feature film Food For Change will play an important role in this national discussion on equitable economies. It will inspire the development and sustained success of many more co-ops. The pump is primed. Now is the time to tell our story!


During the past two years, we've raised 53 percent of our budget from 74 food co-ops and 10 organizations in 27 states. At this rate, it will take two more years to raise the funds needed to complete and distribute the film. However, the film can be released by June, 2012, during the UN's International Year of Cooperatives, if completion funds are raised by February 2012. This is an achievable goal that can happen with your help. Based on our test screenings, we are well on our way toward making an excellent documentary. Consider increasing your co-op's contribution or joining with the other co-ops to support this project.


Since our last newsletter, we've been shooting, editing, and fundraising. Here are some of the things we've accomplished:


* Shot ten hours of new material in Minneapolis-St. Paul focusing on food co-op stores, farms, a warehouse, and combined education efforts in a one of the nation's most concentrated area of co-op activity.


* Presented scenes and discussed the film at a Neighboring Food Co-op Association meeting, an organization made up of 20 Northeastern food co-ops. (see article below)


* Filmed follow-up interviews and footage with Bruce and Jenny Wooster of Picadilly Farm, the young farm family included in the film


* Shot the Monadnock Community Market's first annual members meeting as part of the section in the film on the wave of new food co-ops occurring across the country.  


* Gave the keynote address at the Linden Hills Co-op annual meeting. Producer/Director Steve Alves showed 30-minutes of excerpts from the rough cut to an audience of 250 co-op members. Their reactions to the film are included below.


* Edited the first half-hour of the film, including the introduction and historical sections.


* Interviewed film two editors; one who edits for Michael Moore, another who edits for Ken Burns. After watching the film's first half-hour, they are enthusiastic about working on the film. Our plan is to hire an additional editor to stay on target for the film's June completion. This will happen if completion funds are in hand by February, 2011.


Allie MentzerAnnual Meeting Huge Success

Allie Mentzer, Marketing Manager 

Linden Hills Co-op 

Minneapolis, Minnesota


Linden Hills Co-op would like to thank Steve Alves for helping us make this year's Annual Membership Meeting our best one yet! As our keynote speaker, Steve showed multiple scenes from his forthcoming Food for Change documentary and spoke about the origins of the project. Thanks to Steve, our members came away with renewed pride in the cooperative model, a greater understanding of its benefits to society and a renewed commitment to strengthening cooperative relationships.


Preceding Steve's talk, we served a seasonally-inspired buffet and during the movie, members snacked on locally made Angie's Kettle Corn. Between the dinner and Steve's thought-provoking presentation, our members experienced a truly special evening.


Nearly everyone who RSVP'd to the meeting specifically mentioned Food for Change as a primary reason for their attendance. With 250 people attending-a figure that far surpasses past meetings-Linden Hills Co-op ranked second among Twin Cities co-ops for percentage of members in attendance.     


Here's what some members had to say about the film:


"Loved it- funny, interesting, serious, informative, etc. The historical component was interesting. I think the film will educate a lot of co-op shoppers who go only for organic food v. co-op principles."


"I like the idea that the co-op invention is a middle path: not extreme corporate, not socialist. An alternative to extremes."


"The linking of the importance of co-ops and history to what co-ops are about now and the importance of where we're headed."


"Nice mix of serious topics and human humor. Really freaky sense of how similar our recent economic woes, and their causes, are to what occurred in the 20s + 30s."


"Love seeing history, seeing how people from different eras really are not different from each other. We all look for solutions to the same problems, and seem to find similar, sensible answers."


"I didn't realize that the modern day cooperative movement grew out of the Great Depression but was interrupted by war... really interesting! Love the historical footage."


"Really, really interesting. The archival material was amazing. Concepts of tying it altogether... co-op member ownership, healthy food, supporting sustainable agriculture."


"You have started what I hope is a wonderful tradition for the annual meeting... We are all in need of time to be with each other in community, as much or even more than we need good healthy connected food.The film was a wonderful addition."


Erbin Crowell

NFCA Members Meeting 

Erbin Crowell, Executive Director  

Neighboring Food Co-op Association 


2012 will be an immense opportunity for our food co-ops to tell our story. The United Nations' International Year of Co-ops is an unprecedented occasion for us to communicate our difference and present our vision for a healthy, just and sustainable food system, rooted in co-operation.


In September the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), a network of 30 existing and start-up food co-ops in New England, invited Steve Alves to present scenes from his upcoming documentary, Food For Change, and to discuss the scope of this ambitious project. It is clear that this film will be a powerful tool in helping us tell the story of co-operation in an entertaining and engaging manner. Food For Change combines our past-both our successes and set backs-with our present and vision for the future.


People are hungry for economic alternatives in our country. The interest in building vibrant local and regional food systems continues to grow. And in 2012, the United Nations will be casting a bright light on our co-ops as successful models for social development, employment generation and food security. In order to take advantage of this unique moment in history, we will need to be ready to tell our story in as many powerful ways as we can.


Food For Change is heading down the road to completion but is in need of more funds. Unless the remaining budget of $140,000 is raised, it will not be ready for 2012. This is a rare occasion for co-ops and we urgently ask you to seize the opportunity to bring this project to fruition in whatever ways that you can. It would indeed be a missed opportunity not to release Food For Change in 2012 IYC.



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
FFClogoFood For Change Updates

We have changed our name from Hometown Productions to Home Planet Pictures. You can also get updates on Food For Change from our Facebook page and Twitter account. If you have trouble viewing scenes from the film on our website, you can also watch them on Youtube.   

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