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Hillsboro Food Co-op looking for more members and support

The Hillsboro Food Co-op start-up group is currently looking for members to invest in the effort.

The group has been working for about a year to start a food co-op in Hillsboro and is still in the organizational stages. Karen Smith, an organizer, said the group is working steadily toward its goal of opening in the next two years.

The store will offer products year-round from local producers.

“The more local the better,” Smith said.

It will also serve as a community gathering space and a grocery store that fosters connections between producers and consumers, Smith added.

The co-op has incorporated with the state and has raised enough money for a legal review of the organization’s bylaws. Organizers have also been partnering with community resources, such as Tuality Healthcare, where members offered a presentation and food demonstration with local foods at Tuality’s education center this spring.

Smith said the group is following the guidelines of the Food Co-op Initiative, a non-profit that helps groups start co-ops. Those guidelines suggest recruiting 300 members to ensure adequate interest before organizers look for locations and conduct feasibility studies.

There are payment plan options available for memberships, which cost $200.

“There is some risk,” Smith said. “It is an investment.”

But if for any reason the Hillsboro co-op never gets off the ground, paying members will get at least half their money back.

Co-ops are member-owned, and members of the Hillsboro Food Co-op will be able to vote in board elections and offer input in the co-op’s direction. The store will be open to members and the public alike once it opens.

The group is looking for more volunteers, members and other support, such as individuals or businesses willing to host fundraisers and events.

For more information, email info@hillsborofood.coop or visit hillsborofood.coop. Volunteers will also staff a booth at local farmers’ markets to connect with community members.

There will be a scavenger hunt fundraiser in downtown Hillsboro at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12. Information about the scavenger hunt can be found on the co-op’s website.

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