Solidarity Co-op is creating a worker-consumer model for community empowerment at UMD.
27
patrons
$246
per month
The Solidarity Co-op is an initiative to build community surrounding the Maryland Food Collective by opening members' ability to interact with the space and what it stands for. By becoming a member for $10/month, consumers will:
  1. Have a vote in how the money is spent.
  2. Enjoy 10% off Member Mondays at the Food Co-op.
  3. Enjoy community dinners with the Solidarity Co-op meetings.
  4. Have access to an online bulk grocery platform through the Food Co-op's vendors (under development).
This comes as the co-op is under threat of getting shut down and it needs your support. Below is an explanation of the situation, what we're doing, and why the co-op needs your support.

Stamp told the Food Co-op on Friday, March 8, 2019, that they intend on shutting it down at the end of the semester because it had accumulated more rent debt to them over this school year. The worker-owners were under the assumption we were slowly climbing out of the substantial debt our cohort inherited, due to lack of communication both within the collective and with Stamp. While we recognize that Stamp are within their reasons to want to shut the co-op down, it is not true that we mutually agreed we would resign by the end of the semester since, at that meeting, we did not have the opportunity to deliberate as a collective.

There is a potential path of financial viability for the co-op to continue as a going concern and a way out of our debt situation. We are developing a forthcoming financial viability document detailing financial background, projections, and strategy to provide information and transparency as people seek to support the co-op.

This past school year required a great deal of effort and concern for rebuilding institutional knowledge from the worker-owners, which is an extended process that did not catch up to our problems in time. At this point, it would take a community effort alongside our own to keep the co-op going.

Our new initiative, the Solidarity Co-op, innovates the long-standing worker-owner model of the co-op by providing an outlet for consumer participation in its governance, already injecting a much-needed boost of energy by our community. In the short time it has taken form, there are three planned initiatives:

  1. Outreach to students. Members will engage in a marketing campaign by developing literature, putting up posters and distributing flyers in classes, tabling in front of McKeldin Library to give out free goods and sell co-op merchandise, and organize community events. We plan on hosting a benefit celebration of the co-op aiming to revive the lessons this historic institution still offers the UMD community, especially if this is truly the co-op’s last two months.
  2. Building broader support. Members will reach out to faculty, departments, staff, alumni, and other notable networks to request their “time, talent, or treasure” - volunteer efforts, specific skill sets, and donations. Our greatest assets are the generations of lives that have been touched by the Maryland Food Co-op over the last 44 years, and the meaning it carries forward to this day.
  3. SGA and other institutional funding. We have begun a campaign to gain the support of current SGA legislators to both gain their skills in building support and potentially secure funding.

For 44 years, the Maryland Food Co-op has been a student-led radical workplace - a learning experience for generations of worker-owners and communities. It was born out of campus struggle to create space for healthy food on campus and it is up to the current generation to continue that legacy. We are asking all those who care as deeply about the co-op as we do to contribute their time, talent, and treasure - devote any resources you believe can further our collective mission of Food For People, Not For Profit!
Tiers
Member
$10 or more per month
  • One vote in how the dues are spent
  • 10% off Member Mondays
  • Community dinners at Solidarity Co-op meetings
  • Forthcoming online bulk grocery ordering system through Food Co-op vendors
Goals
25 – reached! patrons
Let's get 25 new members by the end of the month! 
1 of 1
The Solidarity Co-op is an initiative to build community surrounding the Maryland Food Collective by opening members' ability to interact with the space and what it stands for. By becoming a member for $10/month, consumers will:
  1. Have a vote in how the money is spent.
  2. Enjoy 10% off Member Mondays at the Food Co-op.
  3. Enjoy community dinners with the Solidarity Co-op meetings.
  4. Have access to an online bulk grocery platform through the Food Co-op's vendors (under development).
This comes as the co-op is under threat of getting shut down and it needs your support. Below is an explanation of the situation, what we're doing, and why the co-op needs your support.

Stamp told the Food Co-op on Friday, March 8, 2019, that they intend on shutting it down at the end of the semester because it had accumulated more rent debt to them over this school year. The worker-owners were under the assumption we were slowly climbing out of the substantial debt our cohort inherited, due to lack of communication both within the collective and with Stamp. While we recognize that Stamp are within their reasons to want to shut the co-op down, it is not true that we mutually agreed we would resign by the end of the semester since, at that meeting, we did not have the opportunity to deliberate as a collective.

There is a potential path of financial viability for the co-op to continue as a going concern and a way out of our debt situation. We are developing a forthcoming financial viability document detailing financial background, projections, and strategy to provide information and transparency as people seek to support the co-op.

This past school year required a great deal of effort and concern for rebuilding institutional knowledge from the worker-owners, which is an extended process that did not catch up to our problems in time. At this point, it would take a community effort alongside our own to keep the co-op going.

Our new initiative, the Solidarity Co-op, innovates the long-standing worker-owner model of the co-op by providing an outlet for consumer participation in its governance, already injecting a much-needed boost of energy by our community. In the short time it has taken form, there are three planned initiatives:

  1. Outreach to students. Members will engage in a marketing campaign by developing literature, putting up posters and distributing flyers in classes, tabling in front of McKeldin Library to give out free goods and sell co-op merchandise, and organize community events. We plan on hosting a benefit celebration of the co-op aiming to revive the lessons this historic institution still offers the UMD community, especially if this is truly the co-op’s last two months.
  2. Building broader support. Members will reach out to faculty, departments, staff, alumni, and other notable networks to request their “time, talent, or treasure” - volunteer efforts, specific skill sets, and donations. Our greatest assets are the generations of lives that have been touched by the Maryland Food Co-op over the last 44 years, and the meaning it carries forward to this day.
  3. SGA and other institutional funding. We have begun a campaign to gain the support of current SGA legislators to both gain their skills in building support and potentially secure funding.

For 44 years, the Maryland Food Co-op has been a student-led radical workplace - a learning experience for generations of worker-owners and communities. It was born out of campus struggle to create space for healthy food on campus and it is up to the current generation to continue that legacy. We are asking all those who care as deeply about the co-op as we do to contribute their time, talent, and treasure - devote any resources you believe can further our collective mission of Food For People, Not For Profit!

Recent posts by Solidarity Co-op

Tiers
Member
$10 or more per month
  • One vote in how the dues are spent
  • 10% off Member Mondays
  • Community dinners at Solidarity Co-op meetings
  • Forthcoming online bulk grocery ordering system through Food Co-op vendors