From Mutual Aid to Food Co-ops – Community Organising in a Time of Crisis

6 September 2021


Venue: Cooperation Town (Main)

Organiser: Shiri Shalmy

The experience of the past 18 month​s​ brought into light the extent of the crisis we’re in: those of us who were already squeezed between exploitative bosses and parasitic landlords have been pushed further into ​precarity, ​poverty and isolation. The spontaneous response of early covid helped to articulate the crisis​ in its reli​ance​ on the good will of the middle class.

​But what we need isn’t temporary goodwill, but a sustainable​, autonomous​, community infrastructure​, ​outside of the state​’s benefit​s ​system that keeps us poor ​and charity-run food banks ​that keep us hungry. We need a system where the problems are shared and the solutions are collectivised.​ ​​ How do we rise to the challenge of developing a lasting, sustainable, anti-capitalist alternative, informed by cooperative principles?

Cooperation Town calls to divert resources from food banks (in fact, we want to abolish them all together!) into an autonomous food distribution system, owned and democratically run by its users. We want to utilise the endless surplus created by overproduction and tackle needless waste. Mostly, we want to help drive a new wave of working class community organising by creating accessible resources to demystify the process and a supportive infrastructure to help us face these challenges together. In short: we are building a ​UK wide ​network of food co-ops!

​Come and meet the Cooperation Town founders and organisers, find out more about the project and join us in a conversation about the possibilities and challenges that the model presents.​

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