LANSING, Mich. — A fundraising campaign is underway to expand fresh food accessibility for the residents on Lansing's eastside.
The Eastside Lansing Food Co-op wants to make it easy and affordable for Lansing residents to get fresh produce.
The non-profit operated as the East Lansing Food Co-op for about 40 years, closing its doors in 2017.
It's now getting ready to move into a 2500-square-foot space inside the Allen Neighborhood Center where it will operate a year-round consignment market for farmers to sell their goods to the neighborhood.
The project is expected to be up and running soon and organizers are trying to raise money.
If ELFCO is able to raise $50,000 by July 31, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will match those funds.
Organizer Emily Linden says thousands of people will benefit when the market opens its doors.
“So there's none of that convenient access to year-round healthy food especially on Lansing’s east side which has about 17,500 people. And we’ll also be accepting SNAP and double food bucks to increase affordability and really make this for the people in the community," Linden said.
Joan Nelson heads up the Allen Neighborhood Center.
She says having the food co-op as a part of the new complex is going to be a big plus for "the people who are going to be occupying the 21 new apartments opening in November as well as to serve the people in our neighborhood particularly where the center is located where roughly 20 percent of families don’t have cars.”
The food co-op will use what they are calling a consignment model to sell goods. This means farmers will set their own prices and pay a percentage to the cooperative for operating costs.
Nelson says the money from the fundraiser will help ELFCO put the finishing touches on the new store, which is expected to be ready this fall.
The fundraiser is taking place on the crowdfunding site Patronicity
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