Food. It's long been one of my favorite things. In recent years I've learned how to make better choices when indulging myself and this has made it more of a challenge to find the right foods in Riverside grocery stores. I noticed the Riverside Food Cooperative a few months ago and made them a priority on my list of potential podcast subjects. When I began scheduling conversations Cooperative Board Chair Elizabeth Ayala got back to me immediately and we scheduled a meeting together with fellow Board Member Muane Vaca at the "Ourlanza House" in the Arlanza neighborhood.
I met Elizabeth last year when I attended a presentation by the 28ers on political contributions to Riverside political campaigns (she's also involved with the Justice for Immigrants Coalition and the Child Leader Project). Muane also puts her time into the Child Leader Project and the Arlanza Community Garden and is a Case Manager with Operation SafeHouse.
Imagine being a shareholder of your own grocery store where the stock comes from local suppliers and the suppliers and store employees are fairly compensated? The food co-op model is about "access to affordable, healthful, and sustainable food through a community owned system that benefits local consumers, farmers, workers, and the environment." Check out our conversation to learn how Riversiders have come together to bring it to our community.
- Ralph from Riverside