2019 Year-End Newsletter

From changing our name, welcoming new staff and board members,  developing new partnerships, visioning for our community space, and bringing in over 160 new member-owners, it’s been a busy year of changes and growth for Common Share Food Co-op! We want to share some highlights of our progress and celebrate the milestones with you.

2019 In Review

We began 2019 with a fresh start under our new name and welcomed our new Community Engagement Coordinator. We celebrated our 500th member-owner milestone, and hosted house parties, listening circles, and community events throughout the Amherst area. We also participated in monthly discussions about food access with the Amherst Food Justice group and learned new development resources and strategies from food co-op workshops and conferences. We brought in new board members and volunteers and created new partnerships with local businesses to support member-owner growth. In just a few months, we went from being halfway towards our 1,000 member-owner goal to being two-thirds of the way there with 663 households! Despite all these changes, we are still strongly committed to our mission of building a worker and consumer-owned grocery store that draws together the diverse communities of the Amherst area in an inclusive space supporting food justice and local resilience. None of this progress would be possible without the steadfast support of our member-owners. Thank you!

January-March

  • Welcomed our new Community Engagement Coordinator
  • Announced our new name
  • Reached 500 member-owners
  • Attended the Up & Coming conference for food co-op start-ups in Milwaukee

April-June

  • Celebrated our 500 member-owner milestone with our 500 and Counting Party
  • Participated in local events like the Amherst Sustainability Festival, Northampton Pride, Asparagus Festival, and the Taste of Amherst
  • Held a reading and presentation from Jon Steinman, author of Grocery Story
  • Hosted several house parties
  • Trained new volunteers
  • Held our Annual Meeting at the Hitchcock Center

 

July-September

  • Hosted a Summer Potluck Series in North and South Amherst at the Mill River Rec. Area and the Munson Library
  • Reached 600 member-owners
  • Launched a Community Space Survey to our members and the public

 

October-December

  • Brought in 36 new member-owners during our 31 in 31 campaign
  • Began advertising at Amherst Cinema
  • Interviewed on Valley Free Radio’s Farm to Fork Show
  • Toured three possible locations for the store with property owners
  • Hosted Climate Change Theater Action event at the Bangs Center
  • Reached current total of 663 member-owners!

Board Developments

This past spring, we also said goodbye to Alex Kent who has served on our board since the very beginning. We’re glad he’s not going far as he is continuing to support us by serving on our business committee. Thank you Alex for all of your contributions through the years! We are also thrilled to welcome Kinga Walker-McCraven, our new co-president and Nathan Chung to the board!

A native of Pelham, Kinga Walker-McCraven is an Interdisciplinary Artist, Educator, and Entrepreneur. After spending time in Chicago traveling with her Body Art business, ROOT of FIVE, as well as working as a Teaching Artist, Artistic Director and Performer, Kinga returned to the valley in 2017. 

Read her full bio here

 

Nathan grew up in South Korea and the United States, having lived on both the east coast and the west coast. During the winter of 2015, he moved to the Pioneer Valley from the Boston area to look for a new career after working in the tech industry for about six years. 

Read his full bio here

Thank You!

2019 was a whirlwind year of movement building and growth for Common Share. Our member-owners have made these advancements possible and we need everyone’s continued support to get us to the Co-op’s opening day! We need 1,000 member-owners before we can secure a location and begin fundraising for the store’s creation. There’s still time for you to sign up or to get your friends and family to join in December and be entered to win $50 to Henion Bakery!

We look forward to your support in 2020 and announcing all the new milestones you’ve helped us reach. May 2020 be our biggest year yet!

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and cooperative New Year from all of us at Common Share Food Co-op!

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