The Bozeman Community Food Co-op has two locations on Main Street. Many Bozemanites find themselves stopping in for coffee, getting lunch with friends, hearing the harpist play at the West Main branch on Sunday mornings or shopping for local goods. It’s a vibrant organization that sells everything from local honey to chocolate covered pretzels, and it is helping put fresh food on people’s plates this holiday season.
This Friday, Nov. 22, the Co-op is donating 4 percent of all sales to its “Farm to Food Bank” program. 4% Day gives the Farm to Food Bank program 4 percent of all sales from that date, and the money earned purchases local food from community farmers and growers and gives it to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank or to the Livingston Food Pantry. The funds are used so people who utilize the food banks can have healthy local food on their tables.
Everything sold at the Co-op on Friday adds to the bottom line. Buying a cup of coffee, picking up a kombucha or getting your dinner from the hot bar helps as well. “All purchases, large or small, will benefit this program,” pointed out Alison Grey Germain, the marketing and membership manager. In addition, Germain noted, “Farm to Food Bank not only helps alleviate hunger in our area, but also provides Montana farmers with a dependable income, thus strengthening our local food system.”
Food insecurity is not something many people in Bozeman know exists, but chances are you’ll pass somebody walking downtown who has used a food bank to get by. It’s easy during Thanksgiving, when gorging on turkey and stocking the fridge full of leftovers, to forget some people have trouble getting by.
Germain added the Farm to Food Bank program, “fills an important gap in the types of donations the food banks typically receive, providing fresh unprocessed nutritional veggies, proteins and legumes.” Gaining access to vegetables and perishable goods can be difficult for people who use food banks.
Farm to Food Bank, originating in 2007, runs year-round, making certain people can have nutritious food at all times of the year; there are donation jars at every cash register in both Co-op locations.
The 4% Day, benefitting the Farm to Food Bank program, is occurring all day Nov. 22 at both locations of the Bozeman Co-op, at 908 W. Main St. and at 44 E. Main.