The idea for having a Bennington student cooperative was hatched. We think that having a completely student-run place for coffee, food, and farm-fresh produce is a great idea, and are working towards our goal of one day having a permanent location on campus.

Our mission states:

Eating is a political act. We believe everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality, responsibly-sourced, and ethically-produced foods. The co-op will build community by bringing people together around food. We seek to create an autonomous space, for students by students, where we can come together, educate, and collaborate on ideas, philosophies, and myriad projects. The co-op should be an arena for students to strengthen their community by engaging in a student-generated space, as well as through the operation of a business of their own. By directing the co-op, students will learn the value of collaboration and the intricacies of managing an enterprise. The Bennington educational philosophy begs students to integrate their ideals with action; this is the perfect setting for a successful student-run co-op. The co-op will facilitate the growth of such a profound idea, and sustain these values beyond Bennington.

We are working toward this mission slowly but surely, growing gradually and figuring out all of the details of our business along the way. During the spring of 2012, we designed and constructed our coop cart, and sold food and beverages throughout the last month of the term.

As we grow in the coming years, we are anxious to heighten conversations with the greater student body about what they might want from a student cooperative. Any and all feedback is welcome and encouraged. We hope to keep everyone up to date via this blog about the activities of the coop.

2 thoughts on “COOP

  1. Congrats on receiving the Sow it Forward! grant; I looked you up and discovered the BSFP! We have started a school garden at Mt Anthony Union Middle School (this is our 4th year; yay). Contact me if anyone wants to work in our school garden or collaborate. (Helen at Also, come to our Grow It! workshop this Thursday and talk by Charlie Nardozzi after the meal this Thursday evening.
    We would LOVE to see Bennington College community people there!
    The Vermont Community Garden Network is presenting a series of regional workshops for school and community gardens, starting with spring sessions in Bennington, Newport, White River Junction, Brattleboro, and Putney. Learn strategies to boost your garden programs and support growth, share stories and ideas, and celebrate this growing movement. The workshop series continues in summer and fall. We hope you can join us, and please help spread the word.

    See the list below and attached flier for info about the workshop series. Please note that some workshops are specifically for school gardens, some are for community gardens, and some are for both. The workshops are designed for garden leaders and coordinators, and all teachers, volunteers, and community members are welcome. The workshops are $30 with many scholarships available – we want to make sure everyone can attend!

    More info at

    Spring Workshop Series:

    BENNINGTON Grow It! Community & School Garden Workshop: 3:30-6 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Mt. Anthony Union Middle School. Includes a light dinner prepared by MAUMS students and staff. Register at or (802) 861-4769. Followed by Eat Your Lawn: Growing an Edible Landscape Talk by Charlie Nardozzi at 6:30 p.m. Free admission for garden workshop participants with a chance to win garden products (check out web link for other workshops this spring in Vermont).

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