End #2: The Cooperative Movement is Strengthened
Years ago, Common Ground Food Co-op owners weighed in on the specific missions behind the Co-op. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, the owners established four distinct Ends, pillars behind the decision making of the Co-op. End #2 states that Common Ground operates in a way that ensures “The cooperative movement is strengthened.”
This End is immensely important. We are, after all, a part of the cooperative movement. Our owner base is vast with over 5,000 active owners and over 9,000 total owners with fully paid equity. We participate in democratic elections for our Board of Directors, Round Up For Good organizations, and bylaw amendments. We carry products from eleven cooperative businesses. But how can we work toward strengthening the cooperative movement as a whole when we are only a single store? How can we support the cooperative movement beyond our four walls?
Our Mission to Support End #2
Last month, we were presented with an extraordinary opportunity to do just this. An Illinois food co-op in the planning stages reached out to us. Prairie Food Co-op of Lombard, IL has accrued over 1,200 owners, secured a space for their storefront, and are on the mission to raise more capital to make their dream come to fruition. As a fellow Illinois food co-op, they reminded us of the importance of End #2, strengthening the cooperative movement.
About Prairie Food Co-op
Prairie Food Co-op in Lombard, IL is a cooperative grocery store much like Common Ground. With a heavy emphasis on local and organic, PFC also promises transparently-labeled and sustainable foods while existing as a community-owned and democratically-run business.
What’s even more exciting and special about Prairie Food Co-op is that two of their founding owners are former Common Ground owners. Previous residents of Champaign Urbana, Kathy & Jerry Nash invested in our little co-op back in 2002 when we were still in the Illinois Disciples Foundation basement. In 2009, they moved to Lombard and were inspired to start a food co-op with their new community. As owners of Common Ground, Kathy & Jerry believed in strengthening the cooperative movement. Now, we have the chance to do it too.
Make a Donation to Prairie Food Co-op & Common Ground Will Match It!
We are rallying behind Prairie Food Co-op and the cooperative movement as a whole. The Co-op will make a monetary donation to their fundraising efforts, and you can too! In addition to a donation from Common Ground, the Co-op will also match every donation made by our owners up to $1,500.
If you believe in strengthening the cooperative movement and love the work we do at Common Ground, please consider making a donation to Prairie Food Co-op. A donation as small as $5 will not just double with our donation match, but it’ll chip away at PFC’s grand total of $4M needed to open their first location. Thanks to our Round Up For Good program, we’ve learned together how giving a little can really add up. The same can be true for starting food co-ops.
Let’s stand by our Ends and act on opportunities that allow us to live up to our missions. Let’s strengthen the cooperative movement together, band behind PFC, and help Lombard get an amazing food co-op their community deserves.
We met with Kathy & Jerry Nash, founding owners of Prairie Food Co-op and former owners of Common Ground, to tell us a little more about PFC and the mission behind their new food co-op! Watch the interview below!