Since 2007, community members have expressed support for a local food and co-op in downtown Keene. Below is a summary of those surveys. Thank you to everyone who help carried out, compiled and filled out these surveys!
- In 2007, a survey of over 900 community members that was conducted Friends of Center City Keene, an organization headed by Jay Pettapiece, identifying a food cooperative in downtown Keene as one of the top priorities of citizens.
- In the spring of 2008, over 1,200 members of the greater Keene community gathered together to develop a community vision that will be incorporated in the City of Keene Master Plan (due summer 2010). Some of the top priorities included:
- Have a strong network of farms, a permanent farmers’ market, food co-op, and public gardens that promote sustainable practices, provide value-added economic opportunities, and supply our community with a high quality, healthy, and affordable food.
- Have a downtown that is the social hub of our community, where citizens can walk, bicycle, and ride public transportation to various services, amenities, and activities for all ages, including our youth and elders.
- Have a strong, local food-based sector of our economy that connects local farms to businesses and the community in various ways, such as through a food co-op and farmers market.
- On November 18, 2008 the City of Keene Cosponsored a Keene Local Food Downtown Forum with the Cheshire County Conservation District, the Co-op Committee, and the Keene Farmers’ Market and over 70 community members attended the event to express interest and support.
- On April 25, 2009, 72 community members filled out Co-op surveys at the Monadnock Earth Festival, with 100% of survey respondents indicating that they are interested (15%) or very interested (85%) in more year round access to locally grown/produced food. Also, 100% of respondents reported that if they are currently members of a Community Supported Agriculture Farm and/or shop at the Keene Farmer’s Market, they would still continue to support them if a food co-op existed in Keene.
- On June 17, 2009 in an online follow up to the April Earth Festival Survey, 100% of 30 online survey respondents said they would be “interested in more year round access to locally grown/produced food.”
- On August 30, 2009, of 80 food co-op surveys collected from four Keene Community Visioning Sessions and from a survey box at Stonewall Farm, 100% of respondents expressed they were
interested (24%) or very interested (76%) in more year round access to locally grown/produced food.
- On January 20, 2010, 29 employees from the Markem Imaje Corporation in Keene responded to a co-op survey, with 100% of respondents reporting they are interested or very interested in more year-round access to locally grown/produced food.
- On February 13, 2010, 44 attendants at The Sustainability Project’s Seed Celebration responded to a Co-op Survey. All (100%) of the survey respondents expressed interest in more year-round access to locally grown/produced food, and 40 out of 44 respondents indicated they would purchase locally grown food even if it cost more.
- On February 24, 2010, 1,103 students from Keene State College (almost one third of the total 4,866 students enrolled) responded to an online food co-op survey. Of 1,086 responses, 88% of respondents indicated they would purchase locally grown food if the price was competitive. Additionally, 74% of 1,088 respondents indicated they would rather purchase locally grown food products at a community-owned market as opposed to a chain supermarket, and 74% of 1,084 respondents indicated that it is important to develop an environmentally sustainable (local) food supply chain.