Isla Vista Food Cooperative
By Ari Plachta
Isla Vista Food Co-op Overview
The Isla Vista Food Co-op is a local source of natural and organic products in Isla Vista driven not by profit, but by motivation for community autonomy, mutual aid and environmental justice. It is also a hotspot of community events, and their outdoor space is a perfect spot to eat their delicious, prepared lunches or just to study! Local and seasonal produce sourced from farmers near Santa Barbara and throughout the central coast stock the shelves. Staff working a small kitchen also prepares healthy and delicious meals for purchase. Through partnerships with campus organizations and food donations to local initiatives, the IV Food Co-op has become embedded within the greater community and seeks to promote healthy living to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Photo credit: Ari Plachta
The Food Co-op was founded by Isla Vistans in 1972. It is owned and controlled by the community, so anyone can join and receive member benefits. Member benefits include a quarterly 10% discount on any purchase, membership in the Co-op Sandwich Club, and a voice in all board meetings/ all matters Co-op. Its mission is to provide residents of Isla Vista and neighboring communities with reasonably priced foods, products and services that promote a healthier lifestyle and environment including organic, local and sustainably grown produce options. It is also part of the national community of cooperative grocery stores, representing an economic alternative to for-profit stores founded on cooperative business principles and values.
Photo credit: Ari Platchta
The Co+op Basics program strives to provide high-quality organic grocery items at everyday low prices partners in coordination with Associated Students Food Bank to help students shop for delicious, healthy and affordable food. The F.L.O.W.E.R. and CalFresh food assistance programs work to help the student community eat fresh, local and organic diets on a budget as well.Education and Outreach initiatives from student research scholarships to nutritional presentations in elementary school classrooms are essential elements of the co-op’s mission.
Insider tips: #1 Make a delicious breakfast at the co-op by toasting a bagel and adding your favorite veggie toppings/spread from the fridge (It’s much cheaper than bagel cafe). #2: If possible, always go bulk!
Opportunities to Get Involved
Check out the Isla Vista Food Co-op website or Facebook page for their calendar of events to attend. For more information about membership, ask a cashier. The Co-op is always hiring and seeking to give students opportunities so ask about work, volunteering, and internship openings in store!
For more information contact Melissa at email@example.com
Photo credit: Ari Platchta