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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 15th 2024

Is 60”'s Co-op Vision Blurred?

“”¦Empty ya pockets son, they got you thinkin”' that

What ya need is what they sellin”'

Make you think that buyin”' is rebellin”'”¦”*

by Frank Erickson

Let”'s be clear about one thing; the true working poor, the unemployed poor, and poor people do not shop at our local co-op food stores!

Seward Co-op is on steroids. Just slow down! I remember shopping at Seward Co-op in 1992, when it was in the little store front that is now Welna Hardware II on East Franklin Avenue and 21st Street. It was a cute little store. Now Seward Co-op is expanding again on 38th Street next to 35W. They have hired professional smooth talkers to sell their expansion plan to the public. Is this what the original “hole-in-the-wall” food co-op starers from the 60”'s and 70”s envisioned?”“co-ops that look like Lund”'s spreading out over the landscape?

There is a lot of talk about equality and very little talk about reality. Seward Co-op can go on and on about their mission to bring healthy food to inner city people, but the reality is that poor people cannot afford to shop at Seward Co-op or the Wedge Co-op because they are too expensive. In South Minneapolis the poor shop at Cub Foods and [Aldis] on Lake Street or Franklin.

Organic or non-organic does not matter when you are poor. Price is all that matters when you are poor. The Wedge Co-op and Seward Co-op are crazy expensive compared to Cub and [Aldis]. At he Co-op stores you cannot get a box of cereal for less than five bucks. A three pound bag of apples is an amazing $8.99!

The cheapest bulk apple price is $3.99 a pound which is more than double that of Cub or [Aldis]. The cheapest can of black beans at the Co-ops is $1.59 compared to 69 cents at Cub. POOR PEOPLE CANNOT AFFORD CO-OP PRICES!

So just what is Seward Co-op”'s mission in bringing a new store to South Minneapolis? Obviously it is not bringing healthy food to poor inner city people. What is the Co-op seeking to gain? A new store will not benefit poor people! Who will gain? Who will benefit? The reality is that it will cause gentrification of the area!

*Excerpt from “No Shelter” by Rage Against the Machine

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