Can Anacostia residents organize, mobilize and manage a food co-op? With the right level of planning and commitment, I say YES! I have attended many seminars, read many reports and witnessed many food failures East of the River. But recently, I have noticed Anacostia's food justice conversation gaining momentum and residents showing an interest in an actual food co-op!
Managing a food co-op is not rocket science and there is a ton of information on the step-by-step process.
A food co-op is a brilliant yet challenging way to improve food access. It requires heavy time commitment from volunteers, start-up capital and support from like minded people. I think a small Anacostia Food Co-op selling fresh vegetable staples, gourmet items and fresh prepared food would be an amazing way to pool our health resources.
Presently, there are a few key organizations focusing on gardening and fresh food East of the River.
The Center for Green Urbanism
University of District Columbia Community Extension
Fort Dupont's Heal Our Hood
Aya Community Markets
Healthy Solutions DC produce
Ward 8 Farmer's Market
Take notice that none of these orgs are housed in downtown Anacostia! If Anacostia can manage a food co-op it would set an amazing example for urban food self-sustainability and build investment opportunities for other health conscious business ventures.
If interested in collaborating for an Anacostia Food Co-op, email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the Food Co-Op Initiative at