The divide between those who have ‘always had’ and the ones who have ‘never had’ is a national problem.
But nowhere is it more apparent than metro Atlanta where income disparities within communities are enormous with one in four children living below the federally-defined poverty rate. Worse yet, a recent study found Atlanta to be one of the worst regions in the United States for young people to change their circumstances and rise above poverty.
This year, Georgia moved from fourth to first place in a trade publication’s ranking of states with the best business climate. Today, the commissioner of an economic development agency explains why. Meanwhile, the founder of a non-profit challenges leaders to address the region’s economic inequities.
Last month I had the pleasure of visiting the Georgia Avenue Food Cooperative. What is a food cooperative? By definition it is, “food distribution outlet organized as a cooperative. Food cooperatives are usually consumer cooperatives where the decisions regarding the production and distribution of its food is chosen by its members.” (Wikipedia)
The Georgia Avenue Food Cooperative is an initiative of the Georgia Avenue Community Ministry. The initial co-op was launched in 1991 and subsequent ones came in 1994, 1999, 2000, 2008 and 2011. The motivation for the co-op was to provide food to low income families and individuals. Currently there are 7 co-ops, 6 of which are on site at the ministry. Each cooperative has a 50 member capacity and at the time of my visit there were 300 families being served. The goal of this co-operative is two-fold: