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Mapping out a course to a grocery co-op - Metro US

Mapping out a course to a grocery co-op

What is a food map? It’s a piece of paper demarking all the places you get your food. But it also reveals a lot about a person’s income and health.

“Maps are used in very powerful ways,” explained Hannah Lewis, leading a food-mapping workshop in Parkdale yesterday.

“Maps can also really bring about change.”

The change, in this case, is the West End Community Food Co-Op. Right now it is a name and idea only.

But a dozen food activists hope to raise enough money to open it in around 18 months. And the goal is to build a food cooperative grocery store that includes not only the health-conscious types who can afford to shop at Whole Foods, but farmers selling their food and people usually not found at farmers’ markets — the poor.

“Originally, co-ops were formed to give people buying power,” said Sally Miller, the co-op’s coordinator and author of Edible Action: Food Activism and Alternative Economics.

Yesterday’s food mapping workshop was part outreach, part market research: What do people shop for? The co-op — if it opens — will be the city’s third.

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