We think being healthy is super important and starting early isn’t such a bad idea! We’ve teamed up with PCC to bring some fun, interactive activities for families to enjoy to the Festival. Find the PCC TasteMobile outside Fisher Pavilion where nutritionist Ami Karnosh will be demonstrating how the entire family can help out in the kitchen.
SCF: What exactly is a food retail co-operative and how does it work?
PCC: A cooperative of any type is an organization of people with at least one area of common interest that is owned and operated by its members. PCC began as a buying club in 1953, bringing together families who pooled their buying power for the purpose of purchasing bulk foods at lower prices. Members invest in their co-op through some level of financial payment but many co-ops include the expectation that members will support the co-op’s activity’s with their time and labor. In a retail food co-op like PCC, members support their co-op through their initial investment (a $60 lifetime membership) and their patronage of PCC locations. The interests of members are represented by a board of trustees elected by the membership. At PCC a policy governance model is followed; the board adopts broad policies that guide PCC’s activities, a chief executive officer is hired by the board to determine and manage those activities.
SCF: How is buying from a co-op different from buying from a regular grocery store? How does the community benefit from co-ops?
PCC: At a grocery co-op like PCC, anyone can shop, whether or not they are members. The price paid for products is the same for everyone but a PCC member is entitled to purchase discounts three times during a month; 5% off purchases on the 15th and 16th of the month; 10% off purchases on a day of the member’s choice. A principle of any co-op is concern for community and, in that very important regard, shopping at a co-op is different because the dollars spent by a shopper go beyond just paying for the products purchased; money paid at the check stand helps to pay for the co-op’s investment and support in the community it serves. Just a few examples of PCC’s community support are the PCC Food Bank program, PCC Scrip program and PCC’s donation program.
SCF: From organic, to non-GMO, to gluten-free and locally-grown, what should parents be really feeding their children?
PCC: The food parents choose for their families is a personal choice guided by their own values, dietary needs of family members, and family economics. Parents are urged to select the most naturally produced and minimally processed foods they can afford, and to take time to learn about product ingredients and sourcing, how to maximize food appeal and taste, and how to interest their kids in selecting and preparing the food they eat. Food is more than fuel for our bodies; especially in a family setting, it can stimulate fun, culture, communication and education.