Food For People, Not For Profit

By Sydney Carter ’13, Wellness Communications Assistant

Imagine a radical group of students, police attempting to put them to a stop, all because of a sandwich.

You are imagining the Maryland Food Collective in the 1970s when a group of students took a stand for fresh, healthy food and sold sandwiches from baskets and carts, all across campus and at events. It took five years of dedication, overwhelming student support and many tasty sandwiches to earn the co-op’s first student government funds and their current spot in the Stamp Student Union.

Today the co-op offers a cushy student lounge, freshly ground and fairly-traded coffee (quite the pick-me-up!) and a variety of organic treats that can please a person allergic to gluten or someone who is vegan. And there are numerous homemade sandwiches on the menu, of course. Many things have changed since the 1970s except… the co-op is still fighting.

The Co-Op is open … for now.

The co-op owes Stamp rent money- $20,000 to be exact. The lease is up this June and, according to co-op student worker, Jenna Parry, Stamp is willing to negotiate a payment plan with the co-op so that the debt does not have to be completely settled by June. “We are trying to have as much rent as we can paid off before the summer, as we do significantly less business during this time,” said Parry, a junior studio art major.

Paid student workers recently took temporary pay cuts that will help raise about $5,000 by the end of May. An indiegogo page for online donating was established and has currently raised $1,300 as of April 30. The iconic “party fund” kept alongside the register has raised over $1,000 as well.

Do you want to keep the co-op alive and well inside Stamp? Donate today or support them by eating your next meal at the co-op.

Want to learn more? Stroll into the co-op, located on the basement level of Stamp next to Terpzone, and chat with the friendly staff, or read The Diamondback’s in-depth article on the co-op as well.

Share with us your favorite co-op treat or feature in the comments section below.

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