I really started to understand the connection between food and community when I was managing The Grassmarket Community Project, originally a soup kitchen, in Edinburgh Scotland. Before the organization’s transformation, it primarily relied upon waste, out of date, and highly processed products for addressing the nutritional needs of its attendees. We very quickly learned that valuing food is an important part of valuing people, and over 4 years we transformed the project to include, among others, educational programs in agriculture, herbalism, and catering. It went on to be the first project of its kind in Scotland to source over 70% of its products from local farms.
In many ways it was the time I spent at the Grassmarket that led my wife and I to make gradual changes in our lifestyle and diet. We currently own and manage the Lockhart Family Farm, 35 minutes north of Richmond, and use our farm not just as a place to raise and sell heritage and rare breed meat, but also as an educational center that opens our doors to children and adults from all walks of life, especially those who don’t normally have access to high quality food.
We have been members of a lots of different types of co-ops over the years, and feel that the Richmond Food Co-op has an essential part to play in addressing the nutritional and community needs of Richmond. Being a democratically owned and operated organization, it places the power to make these decision in the hands of its customer/owners and has the potential to make a huge impact on the local food community. We can’t wait to see the Richmond Food Co-op develop and make an impact in RVA.
-Josiah Lockhart, Board Member