The Maryland Food Collective has been a beloved institution and fixture on the College Park campus for over 44 years. STAMP has welcomed and supported the worker-owner operated food collective, located on the lower level of the building during this tenure.
For several years the Food Co-Op has continued to operate despite increasing debt over time. For this reason, the Food Co-Op will be closing at the end of the 2019 Spring Semester. This decision was difficult for everyone involved and only made after many meetings and discussions between the STAMP and representatives from the Food Co-Op.
Since fall 2017, STAMP leadership, along with Dining Services, began meeting with the Food Co-Op representatives on a monthly basis, working together to determine the future of the Food Co-Op and offer assistance in planning. The Co-Op also enlisted the assistance of the Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED), a non-profit organization that works specifically with worker-owner co-ops to help grow their business.
In fall 2018, STAMP continued to meet with representatives of the Food Co-Op and BRED to assist the Food Co-Op with marketing and business planning. Over the past year, the Food Co-Op also undertook a “crowd-funding” campaign via social media.
After much effort, the parties concluded the Food Co-Op would close at the end of the 2019 Spring Semester. Like many members of our community, we are sad to see it go.
We are very grateful for the Maryland Food Collective’s contributions to providing quality food service and community-building in the STAMP and across campus over the past four decades. The Food Co-Op will be missed. Plans are being made to commemorate the Maryland Food Collective’s presence, history, and contributions in the STAMP.
Dr. Marsha Guenzler-Stevens, Director
Adele H. Stamp Student Union – Center for Campus Life