How the Co-op Food System Works

food produce packingWe own it, we run it

Every house elects a food or kitchen manager to be in charge of ordering the food. This person is a student and resident just like you. Most houses have a list where you can make food or dinner requests – if not, just tell the kitchen manager what your needs/desires are.

Kitchen Managers place orders to the BSC Central Food & Supplies (CFS), which then orders food in bulk directly from farmers and wholesalers.  CFS also provides cleaning supplies, furniture, and supervises the BSC’s recycling and composting programs.  Finally, CFS staff trains Kitchen and/or Food Managers in sanitation, food ordering, and food preparation.

food unloading truckFood is delivered to the Central Food & Supplies warehouse, from where members pack and deliver the food to each of the 17 room and board houses.  Each house sends a couple of its members to do their workshift at Central Food & Supplies.  There are also member jobs such as managing the packing crew, slicing meat and cheese, or driving trucks that you can apply for to earn workshift rate an hour towards your rent.  

Food deliveries begin the day before contract starts and continue to the last week of contract.  Fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy are delivered 3 days week.  Bread is delivered twice a week.  Nonperishables, frozen foods, coffee, and tea are delivered once a week.  Once delivered to the house, food is stored and ready for you to use.  Some members have said that living in the Co-ops is like living inside a supermarket.

food cooking in kitchenEach house has a stainless steel commercial kitchen where you can make food at any time.  Your Kitchen Manager can show you where to find everything, how to use the kitchen gadgets, and how to clean up.  In addition, each house also assigns some of its pooled workshift labor to preparing meals for the entire house. Most houses choose to prepare nightly dinners for all members. Larger houses tend to cook meals more often, either adding a brunch on a weekend day or breakfast and/or lunch during the week.   Leftovers are stored in a common refrigerator.   

We cook it, we clean it up

In addition to cook shifts, houses also have cleaning shifts before and after meals.  Dishrooms and cleaning supplies are also available for members making snacks or  cooking for themselves to wash and sanitize their pots and utensils. 

food washing dishesPersonal Food

The Co-op provides all the food you need for all your meals and snacks.   If you buy your own food, houses will typically have a Personal Fridge where you can store it.  You can also keep your own mini-fridge in your room.  The BSC charges a fee of around $16 a semester to cover the cost of electricity.  Members with diabetes, or other health needs that require access to food in bedrooms, are exempt from the fee.