Progress being made on possible grocery store co-op in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The SHARE Food Cooperative of Winston-Salem is making progress with plans to bring a co-op grocery store to one of the city’s food deserts.

A now-vacant 8,000+-square-foot building has the attention of project leaders.

The building in the West Salem Shopping Center was a grocery store at one time, making it an ideal space for what SHARE hopes to do.

“The vision is to establish some food markets in some food deserts,” project coordinator Rev. Gary R. Williams said. “Fresh food to people at a reasonable cost.”

Eventually, SHARE would like to have multiple locations to address the numerous food deserts in the city, but for now, it’s focusing on the Peters Creek Parkway location.

“We said, ‘Why don’t we find an area where we won’t have to do so much work on the area itself, but be able to set up the co-op and [allow people] to access it right away and then we would use it as a model to take to these other areas,’” said Rev. Willard Bass, co-founding project developer.

“They should build one right here, or put one here,” resident Aundra Thweatt said.

The goal is to create a model similar to the Renaissance Co-op in Greensboro, but the group will need city funding to move forward with the vision.

To meet the operational, administrative and consulting needs of the project, SHARE would need an estimated total investment of $100,000 from the city.

However, in the short term, SHARE will ask the city at an upcoming council meeting to consider providing $21,000 for a feasibility study.

The study will allow SHARE to determine if this location is best suited to address all of the co-op’s needs.

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