The Oshkosh Food Co-op campaign to open a community-owned grocery store at the corner of Jackson Street and Pearl Avenue has raised $1,276,402 in gifts, loans and verbal commitments but still needs another $200,000 by March 31 to continue moving forward with its plans.
The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation has pledged a $100,000 loan to the co-op, and two anonymous donors are matching the loan. The foundation is challenging co-op member-owners and other community organizations to raise an additional $200,000 and help the co-op reach its capital campaign goal, said Brenda Haines, Oshkosh Food Co-op board president.
The co-op plans to lease 8,000 square feet of space from Merge Urban Development on the first floor of the proposed BRIO Building. Downtown Oshkosh has been identified as a food desert, and the planned grocery store will make healthy food more accessible to area residents.
Five other organizations announcing their support for the co-op include the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, the Alberta Kimball Foundation, First Congregational Church and the JEK Foundation.
“These organizations share our vision for strengthening the local economy, promoting health and building community,” Haines said. “We are grateful for their support for bringing a community-owned grocery store to Oshkosh’s central city.”