The KCFC Community Fund will help expand ownership to all, regardless of income
Kensington Community Food Co-op is proud announce the establishment of a new community initiative designed to expand the benefits of ownership to more families in the River Wards community.
ABOUT THE KCFC COMMUNITY FUND
The Community Fund is a new initiative to make KCFC ownership available to all, regardless of income. The Fund will help KCFC drive greater food access and community empowerment from Day 1 of Grand Opening on Coral Street.
Putting Ownership in Reach for All
Because the upfront cost to join KCFC can be a barrier for our neighbors on tight budgets, the benefits of ownership can seem out of reach. To address this, the Community Fund will allow qualifying households to reduce the upfront cost to join, and spread repayment over a longer period of time.
For neighbors who need a little help, the Community Fund will help make ownership possible. Here’s how it works…
1. DONATE: Supporters (YOU!) donate to build the fund
2. APPLY: Neighbors in need apply for the program in-store
3. SUPPORT: Upfront cost to join is subsidized for new owner household
4. REFILL: Owner pays back balance at low, annual rate until fully paid back
Please see the FAQs section at the bottom of this page for more details.
INCLUSIVE ROOTS FOR THE VISION
The Community Fund is a reflection of our “ends statement” or guiding principles
As a diverse and inclusive food market providing access to good food for all, the Kensington Community Food Co-op will sustain:
A thriving, healthy community and environment
A vibrant cooperative economy
An active and engaged membership
A community educated in social, economic and food justice
The Community Fund will diversify our owner base and help KCFC better serve the wider River Wards community with healthy, local, and quality food.
Member-owners like you have expressed a desire for KCFC to be a platform to improve access to food for the whole community. You have wanted to know, "Can I make a donation to help more folks afford to join KCFC?"
KCFC Community Fund is the answer.
With your help, we can increase access to ownership for over 100 families when our store opens. But that's just the beginning. We hope to grow the Community Fund as an enduring source of support for good work and social justice.
Start on this journey with us.
Look for more details in the coming weeks about this initiative!
What is the KCFC Community Fund?
The KCFC Community Fund is a pool of funding dedicated to social justice work led by Kensington Community Food Co-op. The Fund’s first use will be, as described above, for the diversification of our owner base to make becoming a KCFC member-owner more accessible regardless of income.
How does it work?
The $200 member-owner fee to join KCFC is important revenue to our co-op as a startup store, but this cost may not be accessible for some families who wish to join… even under our usual installment plans. For qualifying households, the KCFC Community Fund will reduce the upfront new owner cost, allowing families to pay their member-owner fee over a longer, more manageable, period of time. The exact level of installments is TBD over the next few months by the KCFC Inclusivity Committee, KCFC Board of Directors, and General Manager.
Why does KCFC charge a $200 fee to member-owners in the first place?
In the Cooperative Principles followed by co-ops worldwide, #3 is Members’ Economic Participation, or the idea that member-owners contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. As KCFC is a startup business in an industry with razor-thin margins, the $200 fee is a critical source of revenue. Especially as we work toward opening our store, these funds provide necessary operating capital.
Is this fair to the other member-owners who’ve paid “their share” already?
The short answer is definitely yes.
The longer answer is that member-owners who participate in this program still maintain the same $200 equity to their “share” as any other member-owner. Essentially the Community Fund lays out the initial cost of their membership, and repayments by the new member-owner return money to the Fund. This allows KCFC to accept more members who are unable to meet the initial $200 capital requirements, while ensuring that no member has advantage over another.
Who is eligible for this program?
This program is intended for low-income families and individuals who may find $200 difficult to pay according to our current installment plan levels. The program will be up and running at the time the KCFC opens, and exact eligibility requirements are still being determined at this time. To see how similar programs are administered at other co-ops, check out the Mariposa Owner Fund.
When can I sign up for a lower-cost membership?
We are working to have a program ready for sign ups by the Grand Opening of our Coral Street storefront. Donations to the fund today will help make sure we have dollars ready to support qualifying households when they apply.
Are donations to the KCFC Community Fund tax deductible?
No. Because KCFC is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, donations to the Community Fund are not tax deductible.
How can I learn more?
Great question! Shoot us an email at email@example.com and we’ll help you.