Use cooperative models to meet challenges of poverty and inequality

Lancaster Farm Fresh is a farmer-owned cooperative that increases access to regional markets for local organic farmers.

The Seed is a downtown worker-owned restaurant serving affordable, vegetarian and vegan fare and promoting community engagement.

These cooperative models demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts by creating access to greater opportunities with coordinated resources and capital.

This model could, and should, resonate in a place like Lancaster. Cooperative values are already at play in diverse communities in Lancaster, from the Plain communities surrounding my childhood home to my current home in the tightly knit and racially diverse communities in south Lancaster city, where social capital is broad and deep, to millennial friends and clients who are testing, and in fact demanding, new models of business and community.

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