In this six-minute video Amy Fields, general manager of Eastside Food Co-op in northeast Minneapolis, describes the creation of their community participation project, Northeast Network.
For more than three years, the co-op has hosted a monthly morning meeting to dig into topics important to their neighborhood. Creating the network was part of the co-op’s desire to expand beyond its immediate network and build neighborhood connections. “It’s our role as a leader to be facilitator in the community,” said Fields about taking the initiative to do it. They used these questions to develop the project and guide its progress:
- How do we discover what makes our neighborhood viable and vibrant?
- How do we buy time for the co-op to get to the financial position for growth?
Since they’ve begun meeting they’ve looked for ways to address the barriers to healthy eating in their neighborhood and discuss the impact of legislation that affects their community. The Northeast Network has also attracted the interest of public officials who are interested in partnering with the co-op and other organizations for the betterment of the northeast side of Minneapolis.
“We wanted to invite the community to find out more about each other.”
—Amy Fields, general manager, Eastside Food Co-op, Minneapolis, Minn.