CoFED inspiregizes future food co-op leaders across North America. We support students with training and tools, and connect them with peers, mentors, and allies in a solidarity network.
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The Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC) is a democratically operated non-profit grocery market founded by students of the University of California, Berkeley. Located across the street from the campus, the market aims to make environmentally friendly, local, humane, and fair trade foods more accessible for students. The collective, which is open to everyone, educates the community about the environmental, social and political impacts of the food system.
In 2010, a group of students started a campaign demanding that a chinese fast food chain not open on campus and for a healthier alternative in its place. The BSFC storefront opened its doors after winning a $91,000 grant from UC Berkeley's The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) and hosting fundraising dinners. Today, they are incorporated independently from the university, but they run DeCals through the university, which are democratic student-run academic courses. UC Berkeley students have also created a BSFC student group on campus to get more institutional support through the student group advising system. They also get support from their Community Advisory Board, which is made up of community members who have skills to support their growth.
Their organizational structure is very interesting. Anyone can walk in and buy food, but if you want to be a member with voting rights, you must volunteer a 2-hour shift per week and attend 1 meeting per month. These members vote and run for Board positions and Coordinator positions, which are all volunteer as well. These people head up different committees, which members can participate in. The Board oversees their 1 full-time, paid staff person, the Operations Manager, who runs the day to day operations.
Watch this video from Bobby to see their space!