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Silver Stage Food Co-Op welcomes new members

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

Silver Stage Food Co-Op members are inviting people from anywhere in the Northern Nevada region to join.

For a $15 per year membership, or a $5 per year senior/hardship membership, people can join the co-op and purchase affordable foods of all sorts, as well as products such as organic seeds, grain, bulk pet foods and health and hygiene products.

The items available for purchase through the co-op can be browsed online at www.AzureStandard.com. Librarian Leigh Zevenbergen explained that those without internet access can find a hard copy of the Azure Standard catalog at the Silver Stage Branch Public Library.

A number of area farmers have also joined the co-op, and their large grain orders are making it easier for the co-op to meet the combined total group order of $550.

Silver Stage Food Co-Op future goals
Gretchen Fine, a member of the co-op, commented, “Members are excited that through collaboration with Healthy Communities Coalition, which includes connections among over 100 local, state, federal and tribal partners and hundreds of community volunteers, we can accelerate meeting our goals for the future. With the Healthy Communities staff bringing in grant funding, co-op members can mobilize our community and everyone can eat. There are so many great ideas we can implement. We have visions in this ‘food desert’ of a community kitchen and a mobile food pantry that would have an EBT machine.”

Dreams of co-op members include a commercial community kitchen where members could process, can and sell their own high quality goods in the future. Such a center would allow for bulk item distribution, which would mean that food pantries could buy their goods at bulk item discounts. Members are also thinking of the possibilities for a demonstration kitchen where they could show how to prepare and cook produce from the local hoop houses (similar to green houses).

As for the mobile food pantry, that is an idea that might involve a truck and a tent; this setup could create weekly opportunities to purchase affordable canned foods as well as local farming produce with options for purchasing with an EBT machine that can take SNAP (food stamps). A mobile food pantry could be mobilized in both low-wealth areas with produce provided at a lower cost point and in higher-wealth areas at a higher price point, so that the region’s organic farmers who join the co-op can actually make a living with their high quality, locally grown organic produce.

Next meeting Jan. 9
Anyone who is interested is welcomed at the co-op’s next meeting at the Silver Stage Public Library in Silver Springs, Monday, Jan. 9. at 6 p.m.

According to founding member Marcia Litsinger, the newly elected Co-Op Committee members are as follows:

Chair, Marcia Litsinger
Vice Chair, Leigh Zevenbergen
Treasurer/Drop Manager, Lee Zuti
Interim Secretary, Steve Litsinger
Outreach/Membership Coordinator Cindy King
Representative to the Healthy Communities Coalition, Linda Hoyen, who represents the co-op at monthly Healthy Communities Coalition meetings

The co-op is formally a partner committee under the umbrella of the nonprofit Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey. The USDA defines a “food desert” as a region with low availability of fresh produce. For more information about the Silver Stage Food Co-Op, please call Chair Marcia Litsinger at (775) 721-6068.

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