Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Eastside Lansing Food Co-op

Lansing will soon gain a market for local foods and small farm products at The Eastside Lansing Food Co-op (ELFCO), to be located near the Allen Neighborhood Center on Lansing’s Eastside. This effort will be made possible through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Allen Neighborhood Center and ELFCO announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by July 31, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/elfco.

 

“Year-round farmers markets give producers stability, provide fresh food options for residents and enhance the local food economy,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “This market will further expand an already robust and valuable community resource, and we are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

 

This campaign and new space will provide local farmers and food producers a year-round market for their goods while increasing access to healthy, locally grown foods for the people in greater Lansing. ELFCO has a long history in the Lansing area, having operated in East Lansing for decades, beginning in 1976 until 2017. This effort will allow ELFCO to re-open in its new home in the Allen Place Complex in 2021.

 

The Allen Place Complex will be a food innovation hub featuring the Allen Farmers Market, Incubator and Accelerator Kitchens for food entrepreneurs, the mid-Michigan Food Hub, the Veggie Box 30-Farm CSA, and the Hunter Park GardenHouse, which offers urban farming and gardening education. ELFCO will fill a unique function in this community while taking full advantage of many opportunities for collaboration.

 

“The matching funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will make it possible to open the Eastside Lansing Food Co-op (ELFCO), a thriving market for local foods and small farm products. The market will fill a unique role within the Allen Neighborhood Center’s Allen Place Complex, a food innovation hub featuring, among other programs, the Allen Farmers Market and the Incubator and Accelerator Kitchens for food entrepreneurs,” said Anna Colby, Board member of ELFCO. “By investing in ELFCO, MEDC and other donors will provide local farmers and food producers a year-round market for their goods while increasing access to healthy, locally grown foods for the people in greater Lansing.”

 

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

 

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “What’s happening at Lansing’s Allen Neighborhood Center is community wealth building in action. With the support of the Lansing community, this year-round farmers market will improve the human experience for all. That is what community wealth building is about.”

 

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of May 31, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.5 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 275 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $9.9 million raised from 48,007 individual donors.

 

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