3 Rivers Natural Grocery Food Co-op & Deli’s 2017 • Community, Food, Classes, Music, Movies, Readings

3 Rivers Natural Grocery Food Co-op & Deli’s
Fort Wayne, IN


Co+op Explorers

is ​a free fruit program for our youngest shoppers. Each time a child visits the co-op he or she can pick up a sticker and piece of fruit from the basket at the front of the store. Sign up includes a membership card and a coupon for a birthday bakery treat. We are excited to be promoting healthy eating for kids (and appreciation by parents and the larger community) and hope to create a more engaging and fun shopping experience for both parents and kids!


Co+op Explorers Cooking Club

brings our Co+op Explorers in the know about fruits and vegetables. Using a fruits + veggies passport participants taste and record flavors of the featured fruit or vegetable. A hands on recipe is created and tasted, making this cooking club lots of fun for kids.


Food Basics, Nutrition Education Classes

are offered several times a year and range in topics for beginners to more in depth food preparation. Leaders include staff members, local chiropractor Dr. Caitlin Hernandez, and other guests active in fields of health, wellness, and all things food.


Music in the Café

Our cafe is the spot for the Fort Wayne Traditional Music and Dance Society’s monthly jam sessions for musicians and listeners alike. Sessions on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays feature Southern Appalachian fiddle music and the 4th Saturday is Traditional Irish music. The 1-3:30 time slot makes it a perfect pairing for a later Saturday lunch and listening session. Come on out!


Friday Films

Several times a year we offer a food or wellness focused film and discussion. Films have included Fed Up, Inhabit, and GMO OMG.


First Friday Readings

are held the first Fridays of the month at 7:30 pm from September to May. Local and visiting authors selected by Indiana’s Poet Laureate and IPFW Professor George Kalamaras are given the “stage” to share recent work. This series has created a community of attendees always happy to meet up.


Sunsets West Co-op 2017 • Community, Garden, Chickens, Sponsors, Local Biz, Music, Dance, Classes

Sunsets West Co-op
Clallam Bay, WA



Our Co-op has a ‘store’ garden in the school grounds, where a wonderful couple grows veggies every summer for our Co-op. They attract volunteers who want to learn the ‘how-to’ on gardening in a short summer season. We work collaboratively with the school on this program and share the space with the Special Education Class who make flower baskets and grow some food as well.


Chicken Farm

We have our own chicken ‘farm’ for eggs, and three other folk in our community sell us their eggs from their free-range chickens.


Sponsor Startups

We have sponsored two other co-op startups with offers of equipment, but neither have made it through to a store. We are patient but will keep on working toward a sister Co-op in our area.


Support Local Businesses

Our members are motivated by our Mission Statement which states that we are working toward community development and that we support local businesses to begin making product or growing food for local sourcing. We have 54 local folk supplying product to our Co-op at this time.


Community Sourcing

We are always involved in community sourcing for infrastructure and equipment additions. We have a ‘State of the Onion’ sign on our Co-op that encourages donations to our particular cause.  It is usually refrigeration as we have been in business now for 10 years and are still working toward our first round of commercial refrigeration! We have made no big jumps into the credit industry, just grass roots growth for sustainable progress. Small communities working together to form economic strength and sustainability. We are open to all cultures and have a very international community here.



We are hosts for a large multicultural travelling population on the northwest points of the continental US.


Jam Sessions

We host music jam sessions open to anyone travelling or local every week.  At times we have up to 13 professionals in our Eatery, (the eatery only seats 24 folk). They came equipped with hammered dulcimer, violin, guitars, mandolin, didgeridoo, Irish Penny whistle, squeeze box from the 1920’s, piano, drum, voice and an Adobo. Music brings life to a community, keeping it live is the way to go! 


Ballroom Dance Classes

We teach ballroom dance classes in the name of the Co-op ever second week .


Social Area

We have a social area, almost as big as the store, where we serve health conscience meals, have free Wifi, social area, a record player, piano, tea and coffee bar. Our tea sales of hot brewed loose leaf tea are now out selling coffee, who’d a thought!  Our goal is community interaction, productivity and happiness.


Surplus Produce

We share the surplus produce in summer with the food bank.



We also have classes on Wild foraging, as we live in a nutrient rich wilderness, by the Pacific Ocean and the Salish Sea.  We have traditional cooking classes by a local Doctor and wild foraging, by our local Pharmacist. She collects and prepares tastings and information for the class.


Popcorn Machine

We loan our popcorn machine to events that need it.  



We represent on the County Planning Commission because we are a pioneer of Co-op Food development in our County.

We represented at our local Tribe, the Makah Tribe as a support for Community Garden development along with other representatives of WSU and Master Gardeners.

We are on the Advisory Board for the Peninsula College Bakery at the Clallam Bay Correction Center.

Greenstar Cooperative Market 2017 • Community, Reusing, Meals, Networking, Solar

Greenstar Cooperative Market
Ithaca, NY


Community Donations Program

GreenStar supports local non-profit organizations, school groups, and events by providing donations that typically range from $15-$25.

Bring Your Own Bag – Use it for Good

Our BYOB program encourages our shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they are able to donate to the non-profit of their choice. Each quarter we select three local non-profits, which represent the categories of people, planet, and animals, to be recipients of this program. At the end of the quarter we make a donation to the groups based on the amount of tokens provided by our customers.

GSCP Community Meals Program

Step by step the voices of our community are supporting one another to solve food insecurity using the wisdom of the village. Share stories at a free meal run by community members, or host your own meal with our financial support!

Quarterly Local Food Networking Sessions

Some of the Community Meal participants inform this collaborative, hand-in-hand with non-profits, government agencies, schools & colleges, and local business partners, all of whom are deeply invested in shared outcomes. We focus on one food issue at each session. Free and open to everyone!

GreenStar Has Gone Solar!

On February 17, 2016 our 130-kW, remotely net-metered solar farm in Danby, NY went online. As the largest solar array owned by a food co-op in the U.S., the solar farm has distinguished GreenStar as a national leader in renewable energy and demonstrated our Co-op’s commitment to promoting the feasibility of renewable energy on a commercial level.

The ground-mounted system, which is expected to be productive for 35 to 40 years, consists of 426 Canadian Solar 305-watt panels, which cover about sixth-tenths of an acre, according to Melissa Kemp, Director of Commercial/Utility Solar Development at Renovus. The array is capable of generating 146,000 kWh of electricity per year – which offsets nearly half of the electricity used by our warehouse/Central Kitchen/Space building and 11 percent of the West-End’s total electric usage, lowering our utility costs immediately and completely paying itself off in ten years. As has been the case for years, we will continue to purchase renewable energy certificates to cover all additional power needs.


Greenbelt Consumer Cooperative 2017 • Community, Zero Waste, Animal Shelter work

Greenbelt Consumer Cooperative
Greenbelt, MD


Jim Cassels Community Service Award

Each year, the Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket & Pharmacy gives a $1,200 grant to a group, organization or cooperative to initiate and implement a new project or activity in Greenbelt that fits the Jim Cassels service spirit.

Throughout his many years in the Greenbelt community, Jim Cassels was an outstanding cooperator. Whether helping local groups, mentoring new cooperatives, guiding the formation and realization of senior housing, or getting up at the crack of dawn to deliver newspapers in Green Ridge House, he was tireless in making Greenbelt the place we all love it to be.

Recipients in the last two years are:

2016 Greenbelt’s Green Team – the Zero Waste Circle: The Zero Waste Circle is a collaborative effort between Green Team volunteers and Public Works staff members focused on eliminating waste going to the landfill by promoting recycling and composting to the greatest extent possible. Our mission is to inspire individuals, organizations and the City of Greenbelt to reduce consumption, reduce waste going to the landfill, change the way in which resources are used, increase resource recovery efforts and change individual and community behaviors to lessen our negative impact on the earth. Our efforts include demonstration projects, educational efforts, legislative advocacy, and partnering with organizations, groups and individuals to encourage zero waste policies, goals, actions and behaviors.

2015 WAGS (Well-wishers of the Animals of the Greenbelt Shelter): 

is conducting 6 Animals Safety Workshops to help children and their parents identify a dog or cat’s stress signals, to understand how to approach unfamiliar animals and to know what to do if approached by an unfamiliar dog off leash. Workshop attendees get materials developed by Your Dog’s Friend, such as photos of dogs exhibiting the different types of body language: enjoyment, tolerance, and “enough already.” In addition, WAGS is providing a variety of enrichment activities to the animals at the shelter, such as a special behavior training day for the dogs once a month.

Valley Natural Foods 2017 • Community, Gardens, Education, Wellness, Volunteering

Valley Natural Foods
Burnsville, MN


Co-op Community Gardens

As part of our mission to support F.R.E.S.H. values, Valley Natural Foods created the Community Gardens in 2011. Our organic garden plots are available for rent each year on a first-come, first-served basis to both owners and non-owners, with priority given to existing rentals.

Teaching Gardens

Our gardens on the south side of the building serve as our natural classroom, where you can find native plants that help promote pollination, edible herbs and leaves that can contribute to health and wellness, and a place to meditate, relax, and enjoy a pergola made of local reclaimed wood. Educational classes and group sessions are offered to provide information about the plants we feature.

The purpose of the Teaching Garden at Valley Natural Foods is to provide our community a calm, natural place to relax, while also showcasing plants and growing methods that are beneficial to humans and the environment. 

In our Teaching Garden you will find native plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds, various herbs that can be brewed into tea or processed into oils or supplements, and other plants that have healing or health properties. 

Our natural classroom is also a great venue for instruction, whether it’s a class on natural herbal supplements, or a field trip for children to catch insects or learn where food comes from. 

TheTeaching Garden is also a perfect spot to rest and rejuvenate. In 2016, member-owner Tom Kackmann donated and assembled a pergola made from reclaimed wood and materials from the local area, complete with a seating bench and a birdhouse. 


Our cooking classes are your educational resource for healthy meal planning. Learn how to use more fresh foods in your meals, cook gluten-free, add pizazz to your holiday dishes and get your kids involved in the process too. Our instructors will teach you the skills and techniques you need to feel more comfortable and confident in the kitchen.

Wellness Consultations

Let our co-op’s wellness expert, Eileen Johnson, RN, CCN, get you started on your journey toward healthier lifestyle choices! Eileen offers free 30-minute one-on-one sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings to discuss your goals for nutrition, exercise and stress management. She will guide you toward making healthier choices through tools, resources and her many years of experience and knowledge. Eileen has a passion for helping others live well and she looks forward to helping you. 

Community Service

Our employees and member-owners have not forgotten our roots of volunteerism either. Volunteerism built our co-op, with hands and feet willingly taking steps to give and shape the path toward healthy food choices for others. Our employees and members continue to volunteer and give back in their community today. Valley Natural Foods’ sponsored volunteer events with non-profits in our community, pave the way for continuing to engage our members in our roots.

Midwest Food Connection

It all begins in the classroom. Since 2006, Midwest Food Connection has received financial support from Valley Natural Foods to bring their curriculum and instructors into Apple Valley, Burnsville and Eagan elementary school classrooms. These instructors provide fall, winter and spring series focusing on locally grown food, cooking with Minnesota’s local harvest, learning about gifts from other cultures and urban farming. The series culminates in the spring with students visiting Valley Natural Foods for planting activities in the co-op’s teaching garden space.  Because of Valley Natural Foods’ support, Midwest Food Connection also teaches classes at International Outreach Church in Burnsville, utilizing Woodhill Urban Agriculture’s community garden space on the church’s property for learning activities.

People’s Food Co-op 2017 • Education, Partnerships, Donations, Club, Community, Volunteering, Farmer’s Market

People’s Food Co-op
Rochester, MN & La Crosse, WI


Educational Programs

Whether it be an on-site cooking class or lecture, or a special program designed for your school or business, PFC staff provides educational programming to hundreds of adults and children throughout the La Crosse area each year. We share our knowledge about natural foods, organic production, local agriculture, cooperatives, cooking, gardening, and a myriad of other topics in fun and engaging programs designed to capture your imagination and spark further learning.

Community Partnerships

People’s Food Co-op forms partnerships with many local community groups and events throughout the year including: Minnesota FoodShare, The Earth Day coalition, Hillview Urban Agriculture Center, Great River Folk Fest, Coulee Partners for Sustainability, Dowtown Mainstreet Inc., etc. Through these partnerships we contribute staff time, volunteers, ideas, solutions, classroom space, newsletter advertising, networking, and other co-op resources to aid in the success of mission related partnerships throughout our communities.


Our cooperative provides thousands of dollars in cash support and in-kind donations to deserving local efforts throughout the region every year. Our contributions often come at a time when a small amount of funding, or lack of it, can make or break the efforts of a local organization.

Co-op Explorers

Hey kids and adults! PFC Explorer Club launches in La Crosse! Already up and running in Rochester, the Explorer Club issues every kid 12 and under a passport, an official card, temporary tattoo, and a free banana every time s(he) comes in the store! Sign up at customer service, flash the card every time, get a sticker to wear in the store, and the free banana will be in the produce department!

MN Foodshare March Campaign

For the fourth consecutive year, People’s Food Co-op—Rochester will be joining our fellow co-ops throughout the state to collect food and raise funds for MN FoodShare’s March Campaign. Every year the campaign brings together hundreds of companies, civic groups, schools, and congregations to help keep 300 food shelves statewide stocked throughout the year.

Our efforts will go to supporting Channel One and Southeast MN food shelves. In addition to wooden nickels, we will be collecting cash and food and selling prebagged groceries for FoodShare.

The People’s Food Co-op Community Fund

In 2003 People’s Food Co-op received a matching funds grant from the Twin Pines Co-operative Foundation to create our own philanthropic fund.  The co-op took the $5,000 in grant money and added another $5,000 of our own funds to establish The People’s Food Co-op Community Fund.

The People’s Food Co-op Community Fund (PFCCF) works much like any foundation; the contributions that you and the Co-op make to the fund are part of the permanent endowment. The endowment is invested in other co-ops and the interest earned is used by the PFCCF to make grants to local nonprofit organizations and cooperatives.

Unlike many other foundations or endowment funds, the PFCCF is invested in co-ops, not in the stock market. So unlike other funds that were negatively impacted by volatility in the stock market, our community fund continued to grow. The PFCCF enhances People’s Food Co-op’s ability to positively impact our community, which is a fundamental part of our mission. Over the past several years, through PFCCF grants we’ve funded community garden projects, community health programs, and farm to school programs—to name a few. 

PFC Volunteer Night

La Crosse Food Forest PFC Volunteer Night at the Food Forest will be June 7. We will be working and weeding to the sounds of an African drum group!

Farmer’s Market

PFC will be sponsoring a farmers’ market at Rochester’s Thursdays on First festival.


Natural Harvest 2017 • Community, Non-profit support, Classes, Sponsorships, Events

Natural Harvest
Virginia, MN


Community Support

Annually, we give gift cards, cash, and food donations to a variety of organizations throughout the community. School fundraisers, community health & wellness events, youth programs, animal rescue organizations, art & culture enrichment efforts, environmental solution workshops, food shelves, crisis foundations, literacy programs – working with these groups and more is how we connect and strengthen our community.


Our class lineup has a bit of something for everyone…and a new classroom to boot!  We have, once again, partnered with the Common Ground Community Kitchen at Messiah Lutheran Church for our cooking classes to provide a more hands-on cooking experience.

Change Within Reach

The Change Within Reach round-up program gives consumers the chance to contribute to community organizations in a way that does not break the bank but cumulatively makes a huge impact to the recipient. Every month, a local non-profit organization is selected to be the recipient of all funds donated through the round-up program. Customers donate to the program by allowing their purchase amount to be rounded up to the next highest dollar. Since the program started in April of 2014, Natural Harvest customers have raised over $42,500; in 2016 alone over $14,500 was raised. We would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all who participate in this program.

Annual Sponsor of the Mesabi Trail – Great River Energy Bike Tour.

As a sponsor we contribute to the funding and also host a rest station along the trail. We provide water, sport beverages, snacks (bananas,  energy bars, ect.) we also keep sunscreen and other items on hand.  http://www.mesabitrail.com/trail-activities/tour/


Annual Sponsor of Iron Range Earth Fest (Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability)

As a sponsor we contribute funding, host an information booth with games, samples, and free literature. Our deli also caters the lunch for the whole event, this year we sold over 200 lunches. https://www.irpsmn.org/earthfest/


Annual Co-op Fest

This is an outside event that we host at our co-op to support our local farmers. We work with work with other small businesses to provide live music, craft beer, and children’s activities such as a bouncy house. Our deli also caters the event. The purpose is to raise funds and awareness for our local farmers.