In the summer of 2015, a group of individuals came together as a result of their interest in forming a food cooperative in downtown Indiana PA.
Initial meetings set in motion a feasibility study that was conducted by Keystone Development Corporation. Key findings from the feasibility concluded that the financial results were “cautiously positive” (Smith, 2015, p. 3).
As a result of these findings, steering committee members continued with plans to develop a smaller market as a predecessor to a stand-alone full-line grocery store.
A small group of the initial steering committee continue to operate with scaled-backed plans. By means of various community fund-raising activities, these committee members raised enough funds to finance initial legal steps such as Articles of Incorporation through the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and possibly nonprofit status through the IRS.
These initial steps represent legitimizing factors should the Food Co-Op seek monies from grant-authorizing agencies interested in funding organizations committed to increasing access to local food especially in rural communities.