After operating under a provisional board for two years, the 108 members of the Fresh Food Revolution Food Co-op have elected their first Board of Directors, a milestone for the small but growing organization.
The co-op became an officially-recognized state nonprofit organization in 2011, focusing on providing a source for fresh, locally-produced foods. Initially only offering produce, it has since expanded to dairy, meats, grains and more. Open year round since 2012, members place a weekly order online Sunday mornings and pick-up at the Key Peninsula Civic Center from 4 to 6 p.m on Wednesday afternoons.
The new member-elected board meets by-law requirements set forth by the co-op's own steering committee. With nine members, the board nearly doubles the size of its predecessor and sets the stage for continued growth.
“It should have an impact on the direction the co-op heads in the future,” said Denise Hendrick, a member who also served on the election committee.
The new board moved into action quickly, adopting a budget and making budgetary decisions at its first meeting, less than a week after the Oct. 16 election.
“We voted to purchase a second scale to help with the day of weighing,” said Dee Hendrix, of My Mother's Garden in Lakebay, a co-op producer and new two-year board member. “That should be a big asset in the future as weighing takes a lot of time and volunteers,” she said.
After being urged by friends to run, co-op member Norm Brones was elected board president. A longtime Lakebay resident, Brones enjoys the social aspect of the co-op's Wednesday afternoon pick-up, and believes the co-op is a good thing for the Key Peninsula community as a whole.
“I love being able to eat stuff from people I can actually talk to,” Brones said. “We should be glad that there are products to buy by people who love the land they are working.”
As president, Brones pledges not to get bogged down in paperwork, but keep his focus on getting locally-produced food to members. Brones sees himself as a facilitator between both sides of the co-op: Those there to sell and those there to buy. “I'm not aligned with anything on the board, and can make it work for both the producer and the consumer,” Brones added.
With a quickly growing membership as well as an ever expanding variety of products for sale, the new board is aware of the challenges which lie ahead for the co-op. Managing the complexities of an all-volunteer staff, perishable food products, as well a narrow two-hour weekly pickup window will require dexterity.
Brones and his fellow board members got to know each other at a retreat in November. The focus of the retreat was to learn what the responsibilities of of a co-op board are from a legal standpoint. Those with experience leading food co-op boards were on hand to offer guidance to the fledgling board.
There are nine newly-elected board members of the Fresh Food Revolution Food Co-op. President: Norman Brones, Vice President: Maxine Halley, Treasurer: Marsha Kremen, Secretary: Daniel Hogan, Producer Representative: Hillary Jensen-Bergren, At Large: Lyn Apodaca, At Large: Kandi Clark, At Large: Holly Hendrick, At Large: Dee Hendrix.
For information about the Fresh Food Revolution Food Co-op visit Fresh Food Revolution.
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