The Westwood Food Cooperative is a community-owned grocery store and food access program in the Westwood neighborhood of southwest Denver. Defined by the USDA as a food desert, Westwood is one of Denver’s most underserved communities – the average household income is 50% lower than Denver’s average, with double the rate of obesity and diet-related illness.
Incubated by the nonprofit organization, Re:Vision, which has established over 500 backyard gardens in the community, the WFC was incorporated by 9 community members in 2014. With a $1.3M grant from the Denver Office of Economic Development, the WFC purchased a 1.7 acre junk yard in the heart of the neighborhood.
After spending the past 12 months cleaning up the site, we are now actively fundraising to renovate a 3,000 square foot building into a grocery store. This will be the only grocery store in the neighborhood, the first co-op grocery store in Denver, and one of the only grocery stores in the country owned and operated by a low-income community.
But to do that, the WFC needs your help. We’re showing the country that a community with very few resources can rally together to create a store that serves their needs and that they own. IF we can achieve this, we will give hope to underserved communities across the country.
The WFC is currently trying to raise $200,000 through individual donors and businesses to build out the grocery store and to hire a general manager. We currently have over 150 member-owners from the community, and many more on the way. Your contribution through Slow Money’s Beetcoin campaign will help give us the boost we need to open our doors by June 2016.