Montavilla Food Co-op makes steady progress

Find out how far they are, now, from opening a store. And, consider attending their annual Pancake Breakfast this weekend …

This banner, hanging outside this Montavilla home in outer East Portland, let the guests know this was the location of their springtime house party.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Instead of holding an official “annual meeting” this spring, as they have in the past, the Board of Directors of Montavilla Food Co-op invited supporters and guests to a “house party” in the neighborhood back on April 30.

Guests were provided with a Mexican-themed luncheon, and were encouraged to meet and greet one another.

Montavilla Food Co-op board members Amy Reaney and Ellen Rubinstein spend a moment with Board President Amanda Lamb at the volunteer recognition open house.

“Actually we will be holding an annual meeting – it will be in September this year,” said President Board of Directors Montavilla Food Co-op Amanda Lamb.

“Today, we are celebrating our wonderful volunteers, and taking them for their support; They’re what helps make this organization move forward,” Lamb told East Portland News.

A food co-operative market doesn’t start up quickly, Lamb remarked, when asked about the progress of their organization. “2015 was our best year, as far as membership growth goes, and we expect 2016 to be even better, and we see exponential membership growth.”

It’s important for the community to have a food co-op, Lamb observed, “Because it is owned and run by the community in which it is situated.

House party hosts Amy Reaney and Shane Reaney agree that a local food co-op is a “good economic alternative to the usual grocery store”.

“A co-op is a space for our neighbors to come together, set the direction for the food co-op, have a say in where the store is located – it’s all about democratic control and collective ownership,” explained Lamb.

“Ultimately the goal is to keep the wealth in the community; the wealth doesn’t go to a giant organization,” added Lamb.

The Montavilla Food Co-op will likely find a physical home within the next two years, envisaged Lamb.

Guests enjoy a sunny afternoon as they celebrate the successes of the Montavilla Food Co-op.

June 4: Montavilla Food Co-op Annual Pancake Breakfast returns
From 8:00 a.m. until noon, the Montavilla Food Co-op presents their 6th Annual Pancake Breakfast. This event benefits the effort to bring a cooperative grocery store to the Montavilla neighborhood.

Volunteers will offer a delicious and healthy breakfast made by some of Portland’s best up-and-coming young chefs using locally and organically sourced ingredients. The event will also feature live entertainment from local artists and a fantastic raffle with prizes from community artisans and stores.

The public is invited to meet other member-owners, the board and committee members, and join the co-op. ADMISSION: $10 – and free to those who join the co-op between now and June 4.  It’s at Montavilla United Methodist Church, 232 SE 80th Street. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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