“I think the last straw for me was the disrespect of a young African American woman in one of these stores where the owner threw a pen at her," said the President of the African Heritage Food Co-op Alexander Wright.
Wright wants the African-American community to own something together, something to motivate them.
“We were sitting on the couch one day and he was like, ‘You know what, we need to have a co-op,’" said Wright's wife, Jaime. "I said, ‘A co-op?’ So I was thinking you know we maybe get together with a couple of our friends and everybody would put in a few bucks. But people were like, ‘What! This is it!’ And now there are so many people who believe in the vision and we have people who are volunteering and are like really taking ownership and it’s amazing, amazing.”
Wright is working with local farms to bring healthy foods at affordable prices to Buffalo’s East Side. For $30 customers get $50-$70 worth of produce, and they can pick it up or get it delivered. But it’s about more than just the food.
"The entire purpose of this, our two to three year plan is to have a store where we are hiring people in the community, and getting them off the streets and gainfully employing them, not just minimum wage,” said Wright.
He even envisions the co-op having its own farm one day.
“Where the co-op is built, things start thriving, thriving around it, because the community is like ‘wow, look what we did, look what we can do, what else can we do?’” said Wright.
Wright is hoping that this is the first step to bring hope and change to the African American community in Buffalo.
For more information about the co-op, to get involved, or to purchase food during the next buy in round on September 10, visit their Facebook page.
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