It has been a busy winter for volunteers working with Eat Local Grey Bruce. After declaring insolvency in December 2022, the co-operative launched a massive fundraising drive in hopes of keeping the organization’s doors open. The hard work has paid off and the organization is excited to announce that it has successfully raised over $100,000 to help pay off immediate debts and get operations back up and running.
“We’re thrilled to get the chance to re-envision a new Eat Local Grey Bruce”, says Kel Smith, a new member of the ELGB Board of Directors. “The outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming. Our members really value the services offered by Eat Local and have stepped up to ensure the health and viability of the organization looking into the future.”
The funds raised will give the co-operative time to implement key restructuring priorities, pay off immediate debt, and address outstanding debt owed to producer members.
“We know that deferred payments to producers was an Achilles’ heel for us and are planning some serious changes to avoid leaning on our producer members,” explains Jason Hayes, founding producer, current board member and producer liaison. “Right now we have a few producers working together with industry professionals to explore our best options for managing this debt in a way that both honours our responsibility to producer members and sets the Co-op up for success going forward.”
The organization is hosting an Annual General Meeting at their warehouse in Meaford on Thursday, February 16th, 2023 to ratify a new board of directors, get all members up to speed, and celebrate the fundraising success. Members who can’t make the AGM in person are welcome to attend online.
Smith acknowledges that while change is needed to ensure the future of Eat Local, the heart of the organization remains the same; “There are significant improvements coming down the pipeline, but the core values of the co-operative—our mission and vision—are solid. Eat Local connects local food producers directly with consumers so that folks can easily get access to farm-fresh food on their tables, and we’re excited to be able to continue offering these services to the community.”
About Eat Local Grey Bruce: Eat Local Grey Bruce is a vibrant community of eaters, growers and makers of food, supporting each other in their commitment to local food production, ecological practices, healthy eating and meaningful employment. https://eatlocalgreybruce.ca