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Access to healthy food options has been a growing issue in the neighborhoods in North Minneapolis, MN. Many traditional grocery stores have left, forcing residents to either go far outside their communities, or, if that isn’t realistic for them, make do with the limited options at convenience stores.

Wirth Cooperative Grocery Store, which will open in the ground floor retail space at the Commons at Penn, seeks to address that issue by not only providing affordable, healthy food choices, but also by reinvesting in the community. A cooperative is a business owned by the people who use it; everyone is welcome to become an owner of Wirth Co-op merely by paying a one-time equity payment of $100 (low income options and payment plans are available). Owner payments are pooled together to help finance the Co-op.

Wirth Co-op had its beginnings from the Harrison Neighborhood Association, that on Earth Day in 2007 formed a board with the purpose of creating a co-op. Although the co-op has found a home outside the Harrison neighborhood, the goal remains the same—to provide access to food for residents of North Minneapolis.

Founding members include people who will be regular customers for all of their grocery needs, as well as others who may live outside of the community but want to take a direct role in improving food access. Everyone’s support is needed to help make Wirth Co-operative Grocery a success.

One of the most encouraging things for Wirth Co-op is that there are more food co-ops per capita in Minnesota than any other state, and rather than providing competition, these other co-ops are lending a hand to help in the success of their new neighbor.

More important than ever, Wirth Co-op aims to provide affordable, sustainable, and healthy food in North Minneapolis while educating its Members about buying healthy food affordably and also about the structure of a co-op and how that helps members invest in their community so that everyone has a seat at the table.

Learn more about Wirth Cooperative Grocery at http://wirth.coop/

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