Food co-op seeks to improve access and racial equity in Detroit
“Within a co-op, it’s a flat horizontal structure where everyone gets one vote,” says Malik Yakini of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
Over the last 40 to 50 years, there has been a decreasing amount of fresh-food options in many Detroit’s neighborhoods. Prior to that time, there were groceries on nearly every corner, including Great Scot, Farmer Jack, Chatham and A&P.
But as the city lost more people — and as racism and classism aggravated the loss of individuals with resources — Detroiters lost access to healthy foods.
Many Detroiters are working to combat this issue, and now a new co-op has broke ground in the North End. It seeks to address the issue of food insecurity and to pump investment back into the community.
“We’ve understood from the beginning that we can’t solve this problem in isolation, but the struggle for food justice and for everyone to have access to high quality food has to be paired with the problem to eliminate poverty.” — Malik Yakini, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network.
Listen: How a Detroit food co-op is trying to improve access to healthy food in Detroit.
Malik Yakini is the co-founder and executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. He is also a board member of the Detroit People’s Food Coop, a community-owned grocery being built in the city. He says often times the food industrial system operates in an exploitative way, leaving healthy food access and capital ownership out of the control of African Americans.
“We’ve understood from the beginning that we can’t solve this problem in isolation,” says Yakini, “but the struggle for food justice and for everyone to have access to high quality food has to be paired with the problem to eliminate poverty.”
You can become a member of the Detroit People’s Food Co-op by following the link here.
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