Food For Change 
A Documentary Film About Food Co-ops

July 2012                                                                                       Newsletter no. 8   
In This Issue
Project Update
Audeince Feedback
Scenes From The Rough-Cut
Hanover Consumer Co-op
We Need Your Films & Photos!
Project Update 
Steve Alves, Producer/Director

Franklin Community Co-op
member since 1993
Greenfield, Massachusetts  

On June 14, 2012 we presented a rough-cut of Food For Change at CCMA 2012 in Philadelphia. It was the first time the film was shown and the response was very positive. We are on our way to making a major historical and contemporary film about co-ops, the likes of which, to my knowledge,
has not been done before. At the conference, I stated that once the film's $300,000 budget is raised, we can complete the film in five months. We are two-thirds of the way to that amount.


To complete the film this year, we need more food co-ops to contribute in-line with the  funding plan. Presently, 84 food co-ops across the county are helping to fund the film; 26 are giving according to the funding plan, a total of $113,000. The remaining 58 non-funding plan contributors are giving $58,000. Foundations, other organizations, and individuals are contributing $32,000.


The funding plan was devised, with help from co-op leaders, so that each co-op can contribute an equitable share of the costs according to their size. By following the plan, a co-op share is .5% to 2.7% of the total budget ($500 - $8,000). For this amount each co-op will get a first-rate feature-length historical and contemporary film about food co-ops to use with members, employees, schools, and the surrounding community, on a par with Food Inc., Ingredients, Vanishing of the Bees and other food movies.


Judging by the written reactions to the rough-cut we presented at CCMA, we are doing our part to make an excellent film. We now need more co-ops to join with the 26 co-ops that are following the funding plan. Toward this effort, we have asked co-op leaders who have seen the CCMA rough cut to help us rally more support. If your co-op is not on the funding plan map, you may hear from some of your fellow GMs over the next few weeks. If you do not wish to be contacted, please let us know and we will take you off the list.

Audience Feedback

Responding to a questionnaire we handed out at the CCMA confererence, here's what people had to say about the rough-cut version we showed:

"Awesome! It highlights many parts of food coop history that I've never heard of before." 

"Excellent. Informative & clear. Left me thinking."

"I found the film interesting, informative, fun and funny at times."


"I liked getting the full picture."


"The information about depression-era co-ops was unique and valuable."


"Excellent potential. Good blend of the emotional and intellectual, contemporary and historical."

"I look forward to seeing the final version very much! This is a valuable contribution to coops large and see coops as an American institution in a great history."

"Powerful and important for the general consumer."

"I want everyone I know to see this. Seriously. THANK YOU!! for making this."

"This is a thing of beauty. The long section on first wave US co-ops was the only such treatment I have seen. I am more excited about co-ops right now."  

"I enjoyed seeing all of the other co-ops that I've never been to."

"I feel encouraged in our co-op work. I am inspired to bring greater awareness around the movement. The history was amazing!"  

"I want to show our owners. We are a startup co-op...this would be a great educational resource to inform our community."

To see all responses, click here.


Scenes From The Rough-Cut

Newsletter Clip1
Intro, Great Depression, WWI
Newsletter clip 2
Co-ops Today

Cooperative Convert
Rob HRobert Hagelstein, Co-Producer
Franklin Community Co-op
Greenfield, Massachusetts  

We are proud to announce that we have a received a Blooming Prairie Foundation grant for $20,000. This generous grant puts us over the $200,000 mark as we progress towards the ultimate goal of raising a full budget of $300,000.

I also want to take this opportunity to say how much I enjoyed meeting the larger food co-op community at CCMA in Philadelphia. It was exciting to see so many cooperators from around the country and hear about their work. Having graduated from college into the great recession, I was not overly optimistic about my job prospects. My friends and I would lament the bad timing of our entrance into the work force, and thank our lucky stars that we had minimum wage jobs at big box stores. Having seen the cooperative light from working on Food For Change, I can't wait to tell them that there is hope. Cooperation means that by working together, we can all guarantee each other a future. Not only can we meet our short term goals of paying the bills month to month, but we can save up for long term goals, from having families to retiring. This is why I am working on Food For Change, and this is what co-ops mean to me.


Hanover Is On The Map!

Big thanks to Hanover Consumer Co-op for becoming our 26th Principal Sponsor. If your co-op is not one of the 26 co-ops that are contributing according to the funding plan, please consider increasing your contribution.
26 Principal Co-op Sponsors

We Need Your Films & Photos!    


During the past year we've acquired over 1,000 photos and 6 movies on co-op history. Because we will only be able to use a small selection of these wonderful photographs in the film, we will be archiving some on our website.  


Please contact us if your co-op has photos or films from the 1970s and 1980s that would be available to use in the film:

  1. We are looking for films/photos/slides/negatives of your co-op's exteriors and interiors.   
  2. You can e-mail us your photos, or send them to us via ftp. Photos should be scanned at 800 or 1200 dpi for photos, 2400 to 6400 dpi for slides/negatives, saved as jpgs.
  3. You can mail us your photos. We will scan them and return them to you within two weeks.

Send all pictures to:

Food For Change

23 Unity Street

PO Box 229

Turners Falls, MA 01376  



FFClogoFood For Change Updates

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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Missed a newsletter? They are all archived on our website.


23 Unity Street, P.O. Box 229, Turners Falls, MA 01376

Work: (413) 863-9264            Mobile: (413) 834-3109

Steve Alves: 

Robert Hagelstein: