As part of its forthcoming "Nourish" program, Seward Community Co-op has raised its store discount from five to 10 percent for Seward shoppers who receive various forms of needs-based assistance. The increase went into effect June 1, 2014.
"We’re very proud to make this higher discount available,” said Seward Co-op’s General Manger Sean Doyle. “It’s part of our overall strategy to make healthy food as accessible as possible through our Nourish program.”
Seward Co-op’s Nourish is a shopper-education program whose motto is “Simple, Healthy Eating.” Offering $10 or less recipes for a family of four, classes on cooking from scratch, and numerous shopping tips for saving money, Nourish is aimed at shoppers looking to make their dollars stretch at the co-op. The needs-based discount is a featured aspect of Nourish.
“Because Nourish is about eating better for less, anyone can benefit from the recipes and classes,” LaDonna Sanders-Redmond, Seward’s Outreach and Education Coordinator, explained, “But the discount portion of Nourish is needs-based.”
Eligibility for the 10-percent discount is based on financial need, which, in turn, is based on shoppers’ individual enrollment in Minnesota Food Assistance/Support (SNAP/EBT), Women, Infant & Children (WIC), MN Care and Minnesota Medical Assistance, or Social Security Disability.
As part of the Nourish program, Seward Community Co-op also offers a needs-based path to ownership. Shoppers receiving various forms of assistance can purchase a new ownership with an initial $15 payment (the remaining $60 is paid with future patronage refunds). As soon as the $15 payment is made, however, the full benefits of co-op ownership begin, including store specials, quarterly discounts, and a vote in upcoming co-op Board elections.
“We don’t think money should be a barrier to shopping or voting at Seward,” Doyle said.
The needs-based discount increase will apply at both Seward Co-op’s current Franklin Avenue store and at the coming Friendship Store, slated to open in summer 2015 in the Bryant-Central neighborhood.