NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A community-owned food coop located in downtown Wilmington earned a national award for its efforts to being a grocery store to a food desert.
The Northside Food Co-op received the Up & Coming 2023 Start-up Innovator Award during a conference hosted by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center Inc., which helps launch cooperative organizations.
The Start-Up Innovator Award recognizes those who are blazing a new way forward to solve the challenges faced by start-up food co-ops by finding new and innovative ways to address the needs of the co-op’s community. Northside Food Coop was chosen out of three nominees and received the news of its winning during a Sept. 15 conference.
“We are deeply honored to receive the Up & Coming 2023 Start-Up Innovator Award,” Project Manager of the Northside Food Co-op Cierra Washington said in a press release. “This recognition celebrates our public-private partnership with New Hanover County, our intentional community programming, and our dedication to ending the 35+ year food desert in the Northside of Downtown Wilmington.”
The national annual Up & Coming Food Co-op conference is an opportunity for those working to open new food co-ops and those who opened food co-ops to network, share best practices and inspire further growth.
The Northside Food Co-op’s vision has always been to make healthy and sustainable food options accessible to everyone while strengthening the local food ecosystem. Through partnerships with local farmers and artisans, educational programs, and a commitment to environmentally responsible practices, the co-op has become a cornerstone of the Northside community, with supporters and members across the great Wilmington area.
While Northside partners with the county to open a grocery store, it hosts Frankie’s Outdoor Market, weekly opportunities for residents to purchase fresh, locally grown produce and products.
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