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  •  Urban Recipe

    Originally serving as the Georgia Avenue Community Ministry, Urban Recipe is an outgrowth of a 1990 initiative of Georgia Avenue Church. It was separately incorporated in 2001, the primary focus being the formation of food cooperatives for low-income families. Our particular “urban recipe” creates food security in a way that affirms dignity while at the same time providing a sense of support and community for our members.



    Urban Recipe Food Co-ops for low-income families provide a unique alternative to many traditional food-centered programs. Each individual or family becomes a member of a Co-op of up to 50 families that meets every two weeks. Members volunteer their time and energy to do the lion’s share of what’s necessary to unload, sort, organize and distribute an average of 3,000 pounds of food equitably and according to family size. Urban Recipe Co-ops create food security as well as providing a place where relationships and community are built and the dignity of everyone involved is affirmed.


    Members arrive at the appointed hour and check in with the secretary. After checking in, each member is encouraged to participate in a handful of different tasks. These include setting out and organizing the correct amount of empty boxes, bringing the food into the distribution room, sorting and organizing the food into categories, portioning out bulk items, and distributing all the food into boxes equitably and according to family size.

    Once all the day’s food and goods are loaded into boxes, a business meeting is held. Led by the co-op’s elected leadership, the business meeting typically includes a reflection, community announcements and on occasion an educational portion led by a guest speaker from one of Urban Recipe’s community partners. When the business meeting concludes, the fully stocked food boxes are assigned to each member and members take their boxes and disperse until gathering again in two weeks.



    Urban Recipe has been launching and operating Food Cooperatives for low-income families since 1991. There are dozens of Urban Recipe inspired Co-ops locally and nationally that have launched through our Co-op Training and countless groups from around the US and as far as Tokyo and Hong Kong that have come to train with us and learn about our one-of-a-kind approach to solving hunger with dignity.

    Co-op Training Workshops provide an in-depth look into how our Co-op model works including an overview of how Co-ops are formed and operated.Workshops are held at our office site three times a year and are led by executive director, Jeremy Lewis, and Urban Recipe founder, Chad Hale. Co-op Training Workshops for Gideons will be held on location of the Co-Op and includes a live look-in to an Urban Recipe Co-op, where trainees are invited to ask questions of the Co-op’s coordinator and members.