The Coop Cred Program uses an alternative currency model to create better access to local and nutritious food for low-income people while at the same time facilitating training, employment and volunteer opportunities for participants.
How it works
Through supportive work-learn placements, participants have the opportunity to re-engage work, earn credit for work activity and exchange credit earned for the purchase of healthy food. Since no money is exchanged participants are protected from social assistance claw-back restrictions.
To date, Co-op Cred has enabled $90,000 worth of fresh, healthy food to reach low-income households in our community!
In 2013 the Coop Cred pilot project rolled out, placing PARC Ambassadors into placements at both West End Food Coop and Greenest City. Coop Cred expanded, and quickly proved to function as more than a community currency; it also provides low-income and marginalized people with a wide range of benefits that improve livelihoods:
Social – increased food security and food literacy
Health – improved access to healthy and local food
Economic – on-the-job training, mentoring and new skills
Environmental – a new link with local farmers/land stewardship activity