Clean Socks Hope Executive Director Jeff Minton said, "The Food Co-op model is very different than the traditional 'Food Pantry' because the patrons buy into it and run it themselves. Our collaborative group that includes Hope Southern Indiana and Northside Christian Church on Oak Street only facilitate a place and help with the initial setup. The families of the community run a 'Food with Dignity' program instead the old food pantry model that creates voids in families without transportation and typically only allows access to meals a few times a year."
This will be the group's second combined effort after this December's Christmas Store - Hope for Parents Program. The Midtown co-op will meet every other week beginning sometime in June. Members contribute a $5 membership fee and meet the truck as it arrives with approximately 1 Ton of food, participating together to divide the food into boxes for one another. A medium-sized family typically receives more than $100 worth of food at each meeting based upon the season of the year and availability.
"Our Food with Dignity Program – highlights our co-op members willingness to contribute to the well-being of the neighborhood they live in so they have a sense of dignity and ownership. Food co-ops provides food security, so that members are not worrying about whether they will be eating at the end of each month. It also fights homelessness by providing so much food that money is freed to pay other bills," Minton said. "The homelessness issue has been a hot topic of late with our sister cities and this is just a positive proactive step for New Albany to lead in a fundamental way."
Clean Socks Hope and Hope Southern Indiana are 501(c)3 non-profits who work in the Midtown-New Albany neighborhood. Northside Christian Church on Oak Street is an outreach parish of Northside Christian Church.