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Co-op to screen film on need for grocery store

Published: Saturday, March 8, 2014 10:47 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – In its push for a member-owned and operated grocery store, the McHenry County Food Cooperative will show a documentary highlighting the benefits such stores bring to communities.

On March 18, the organization will have a free screening of “Food for Change” at the McHenry County College Luecht Conference Center at 8900 Route 14 in Crystal Lake. The event, scheduled to go from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., will include a discussion featuring regional co-op experts along with representatives from McHenry County Food Cooperative.

Members from the organization will talk about plans for a member-owned grocery store that will feature locally grown food and health products.

Doug Close, a board member for McHenry County Food Cooperative, said the organization recently incorporated under the Illinois Cooperative Act and is getting closer to the goal of opening a grocery store in May 2015.

He said the group still wants to commission a feasibility study to see where the best location for a store would be, but believed it would be located somewhere in the Crystal Lake, Woodstock, McHenry triangle.

“In our initial outreach we have found there definitely seems to be various niches that are not being covered by corporate grocery stores,” Close said. “Co-ops help the local economy and provide services in a way corporate grocery stores just can’t do.”

The film will highlight some of those benefits through combination of interviews, archival footage and commentary by leaders and historians in the cooperative movement. In the documentary, filmmaker Steve Alves profiled several food cooperatives that have revived neighborhoods and communities.

Close said the organization plans to show the film in libraries and at any community organization that would be interested to continue spreading the message.

“It’s a very uplifting film that really focuses on the resurgence of food co-ops in America,” he said. “People really want to have an understanding of where their food is coming from.”

For information on the McHenry County Food Cooperative, visit www.mchenrycountyfoodcoop.com.

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