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New Leaf market aims to improve market for healthy food

Aug. 3, 2013
 
New Leaf Market sees its mission to improve access to healthy food while strengthening the market for local farm and food products and creating jobs.
New Leaf Market sees its mission to improve access to healthy food while strengthening the market for local farm and food products and creating jobs. / File/Press-Gazette Media

About the campaign

To support their collaboration, New Leaf Foods and New Leaf Market will share occupancy of a downtown Green Bay facility and operate it as a Healthy Community Food Hub. To purchase and develop the site, the two organizations are collaborating on a capital campaign.
Donations to New Leaf Foods to purchase the site are tax deductible. Member-owners of New Leaf Market may invest by loaning funds for its startup costs.
For more information about the campaign, see newleafmarket.org, call (920) 465-6581 or email newleaffoodsgreenbay@gmail.com.

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“Good food for good health, now and for generations.”

Putting this mission into practice are the nearly 700 member-owners of New Leaf Market Cooperative — a full-service, community-owned grocery store planned for downtown Green Bay. By featuring local, healthy and fair-priced food for the community, New Leaf Market will not only improve access to healthy food but also strengthen the market for local farm and food products and create good jobs.

Downtown Green Bay is a USDA-designated food desert, and as a community we need to improve access to healthy food. The Bay Area Community Council report 20/20 Envisioning the Future calls for grocery stores providing healthy foods to be located in low-income neighborhoods, citing downtown Green Bay as a case in point.

Surveyed downtown residents and employees also requested an accessible high-quality fresh food outlet. By locating downtown, New Leaf Market will eliminate the food desert and provide a vital amenity in the heart of the city.

A coalition of community leaders, organizations and businesses, including Downtown Green Bay Inc., Brown County University of Wisconsin-Extension, Wisconsin Public Service Corp., the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and Arketype, have been working for four years from vision to feasibility and planning stages. Carol Karls, chairwoman of the Site Selection Team, stated that the process of vetting the feasibility of a site at 900 Cedar St. is well underway. Once a site is secured and fully vetted, plans are to open within 18 months.

New Leaf Market needs 1,500 member-owners by its opening. To meet this membership goal and sustain the market, current member-owners are encouraging their families and friends to put their money where their hearts are and invest $180 in the purchase of an ownership share of the market.

While everyone, not just member-owners, is welcome to shop at New Leaf Market, only member-owners participate in the democratic direction of the store and benefit from special member discounts and patronage refunds. Most importantly, as an owner you get to shop in your store fulfilling your mission with your friends and neighbors and your local farmers, bakers and salsa makers.

Working collaboratively with New Leaf Market Cooperative is New Leaf Foods, Inc. — a local 501(c)3 educational and charitable nonprofit organization. Its mission is educating community members about consuming and producing healthy food, improving community food security for low-income families, and promoting a thriving sustainable local food system.

New Leaf Foods is a partner in the Live54218 coalition, which is promoting farm-to-school programs that directly increase access to and education about healthy food choices for school children. New Leaf Foods’ plans also include supporting community gardens and urban agricultural projects in Green Bay, comparable to Will Allen’s internationally renowned Growing Power in Milwaukee. Such programs improve healthy food access while providing opportunities for job training for youth in underserved communities.

New Leaf Foods will collaborate with New Leaf Market and other community organizations to promote wellness by supporting healthy eating. Healthy eating helps prevent diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension, cancer and arthritis. Prevention improves productivity and lowers health care costs, sparking a virtuous cycle of wellness and prosperity.

Walter is president of the board of directors of New Leaf Market Cooperative and founding director of the UW-Green Bay Center for Food in Community and Culture.

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