Comment 73945

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted February 08, 2012 at 09:01:17

I'm pretty inspired that I'm not the only one thinking along the co-op lines, and will blog a lengthier proposal soon. These two points, though, require a prompter response.

it's a grocery store, not a community centre. A community should not have to organize a co-op just to buy affordable food.

Grocery stores are not community centres, and that's part of the problem. One of the great "efficiencies" they've achieved is removing public space from the equation. Historically, the "centre" of Hamilton as a community was the market at King and James, as with countless cities stretching back to ancient times. This community aspect isn't something we should overlook here.

Communities will bear the brunt of organizing this one way or the other, whether they pay for it as a (large) chunk of grocery prices, or as the burden of organizing it themselves. The difference is that in the latter, that effort can be translated into further co-operative, community-based ventures. Especially in areas where people have lots of time and little cash, these kind of options could make a far bigger difference than food banks (as mentioned above), as well as helping people organize co-ops in other markets, holding the promise of putting many of our town's unemployed back to work on their own terms.

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