Good Neighbor Awards

Denver Good Neighbor Award Winner Brings Healthy, Affordable Food to Community

Written by Danielle Styskal

Each month, Nextdoor is honoring the good neighbors who are making a difference in their neighborhoods every day with our Good Neighbor Award.

Each winner is nominated by their neighbors and will receive a gift card from Nextdoor in recognition of the positive impact they have made in their community. To nominate a good neighbor in your community, click here.

The City of Denver officially designated the West Colfax neighborhood a “food desert,” which means it doesn’t have a grocery store of its own or easy access to one.

According to residents in the area, large grocery chains won’t consider building there and the nearest decent-sized grocery store is inconveniently located miles away. As a result, most residents have to get their groceries from local convenience stores, where they pay more for less nutritious food.

Local resident, Eric Johnson, decided that something had to change. He looked into organizing a neighborhood food co-op that would provide the neighborhood access to healthy, local, and affordable food, and took to Nextdoor to see if his neighbors would be interested.

Denver Good Neighbor Eric Johnson

Denver Good Neighbor Eric Johnson

Needless to say, they were. What started with Eric’s simple post to Nextdoor has turned into an official neighborhood food co-op with by-laws, a board of directors, and the acceptance of some small grants.

Officially named The West Colfax Food Co-op, the co-op will be a community-owned grocery store that provides equitable access to fresh food and celebrates West Denver’s culinary and cultural diversity. They’re in the process of securing partnerships with farming co-ops up and down the Western Plains that will provide the fresh produce they desire. The store is still in the planning stages, and the group hopes to find a building that they can call their own by summer 2017 to open a storefront.

Meeting notes as the group brainstormed the benefits of a neighborhood co-op

According to Eric, Nextdoor was critical for getting the word out about the co-op and continues to be an excellent tool to plan meetings, share notes, and discuss the co-op’s progress with the larger community.

Thank you to Eric’s neighbor, Carrie Martin, for nominating Eric as Denver’s Good Neighbor. We’re humbled to be able to play a small role in helping communities like West Colfax make their neighborhoods even better places to call home.

Learn more about the West Colfax Food Co-op here.

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