By Jenny Silverman

The Dorchester Community Food Co-op Membership Drive is in full swing, and the Co-op is halfway to its first phase goal of signing up 100 member households by Dorchester Day on June 3! There are 15 more days to meet this goal–this is a great time to send in your member application and full or partial equity share payment! Thanks to all who have already joined–if each current member reaches out to one additional friend or neighbor this week, this goal can be met. Joining now is an important step in making the Co-op a reality. You can find more information, including a membership brochure and application, on the Co-op Website.

As new member Mariama White Hammond wrote in an email to her network: “Being a member-owner means that you believe in this vision of bringing people together to enjoy healthy, fresh food and that you want to support a local business that will do as much local buying as possible. It means that you believe in things like the Winters Farmers Market that we did this year and which attracted hundreds of people each Sunday.”

Co-op volunteers will be staffing a Co-op table this Saturday, May 20, at the Ashmont Hill Yard Sale (corner of Roslin and Harley St.) You can come by and say hello and join there. A membership brochure and application can be downloaded from the  Co-op Website. Every household is eligible to buy one equity share, and the $100 payment can be made in full or in installments over time. Send in your membership application with a check to PO Box 240231, Dorchester, MA 02124.  Questions about membership–don’t hesitate to call.

On June 3, the Dorchester Community Food Co-op will make its second appearance in the Dorchester Day Parade. Many of you heard about the Co-op for the first time when volunteers marched in the parade last year. Join in this year–it would be great to have at least 50 people marching–all holding signs saying “We are the Dorchester Community Food Co-op!”  The Co-op will be marching with volunteers from the Bowdoin St and Codman Square Summer Farmers’ Markets, and perhaps friend from Green Dorchester and Dorchester Bikes!  It will be a big Healthy Food contingent! Strollers, bikes, roller skates are welcome. There will be vegetable costumes again, and we will have a vehicle for those who cannot walk or may want to walk only part way. Let’s make a big impact this year and reflect the broad diversity of our community. Help needed making signs for the parade.

What’s New in the Co-op development?

  • The Dorchester Community Food Co-op received the 2012 Green Sustainable Food Leadership Award from the City of Boston. Scroll down on the Co-op Website for a picture of steering committee members accepting the award on April 19.
  • The Co-op steering committee is continuing the work of networking with possible development partners and considering the feasibility of different sites for the store.
  • The steering committee is reaching out to possible sources of funding for this feasibility and planning stage of the co-op development.
  • Dorchester is well organized with dozens of neighborhood groups. Many are reaching out to us to ask us to come talk about the Co-op. Would you like to help, or do you belong to a group that hasn’t had a co-op presentation? Let us know with an email to  Building the “co-op community” now is the most important thing we can all do together to bring a successful Food Co-op to Dorchester.

SAVE THE DATES: We are continuing the planning for the Co-op sponsored Community Supported Cafe this summer on Meeting House Hill. The “cafe” will be a series of evening food gatherings and will take place at the First Parish Church on  the first four Friday nights in August and the first two Fridays in September. The planning is in process–details still to come.

Jenny Silverman is project manager at the Dorchester Community Food Coop.