About the Co-op
The Monroe Park Grocery Co-op was created to serve a primarily low-income community. Its goal is to help its members meet their needs for healthy, low-cost produce and fresh foods. Currently, it serves as the center for the Monroe Park community’s food sustainability efforts and provides local foods to residents of South Bend and surrounding towns. The Co-op is a community open to everyone, regardless of income. EBT is accepted for those who need it and membership opportunities are available for all community members.
The Co-op offers local produce, nuts, dried fruits, grains, breads, lunch meat, cheeses, freshly baked goods and prepared, ready-to-eat foods made by our cooks. Prairie Winds Farm, Bertrand Farm and Kankakee Wetlands Organic Gardens partner with the Co-op to provide fresh, organic, locally grown produce and dairy products. Our cooks often bake breads, muffins, cookies and cakes. Some popular items are fruit muffins, chickpea chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chickpea cakes. They also cook to-go meals and products; some common items include apple butter, hummus, noodle bowls, vegetable curry and granola. In addition, there are often all-natural breads and cookies provided by Backwoods Bakery in Bremen, IN.
The Co-op provides not only a cheap way to get fresh, local, organic foods; it is also provides a great way to be part of the South Bend community. As a cooperative, the same people who shop at the Co-op also run the market. Each member is given an equal share of the Co-op. Through volunteer time and voting on major decisions at quarterly membership meetings, each member plays a role in the success of the Co-op.
- Neighbor of Monroe Park or low-income South Bend/Michiana resident member: Membership is earned through volunteer service to the Co-op. Some volunteer service activities include: helping with Co-op operations on market days, picking up supplies, set-up and clean-up tasks and gardening. Volunteer hours are flexible and no capital is necessary to be a member.
- Producer member: Membership is given to all producers who provide the Co-op with their produce, meat, dairy and baked goods. It is our pleasure to forgo membership dues to these individuals.
- Friends of the Co-op, Sponsor, Retiree, South Bend/Michiana and Student Members: Membership is renewed every year through paying a small membership due. While you are encouraged to do volunteer work with the Co-op, it is not mandatory. We ask that you sign up for a membership after shopping at the Co-op three times.