It’s taken a year, but the idea of a Bay Ridge food co−op is coming closer to becoming a reality.
David Marangio, representing the group of people who have been engaged over the past several months in solidifying the concept, told members of the American Heritage Political Organization (AHPO), gathered at the American Legion hall, 345 78th Street, that, currently, the co−op is incorporating and is in the process of formulating its membership policy.
While nearly 800 people in the Bay Ridge area have already expressed interest in the co−op, Marangio urged his listeners to also become involved. “We’d like as much participation from the neighborhood as possible,” he said.
Why bother with a food co−op? “Healthy, affordable food is not really brought to us in the way we’d like,” Marangio told the group. So, he added, “We’re seizing the opportunity.”
The Bay Ridge Food Co−op first surfaced as a possibility last June, when one area resident, Murray Gross, spoke before Community Board 10. At the time, Gross had been motivated, in part, by the news that one area supermarket, the Key Food on Third Avenue at 94th Street, would be closing.
At the beginning, only a couple of dozen people were involved in the effort, which has snowballed over the ensuing months, and which involves setting up an alternative system for bringing in foodstuffs to the neighborhood, with members sharing the responsibility as they reap the benefits, which can include lower prices, locally−sourced foodstuffs and organic products.
When the co−op finally opens, it will not be the borough’s first. Rather, it will be following in the footsteps of two already long−established food co−ops, one in Park Slope and one in Flatbush.