South Bronx Food Cooperative expands services

Zena Nelson, a founding member of the South Bronx Food Cooperative, is encouraging the community members sign up and learn the many benefits associated with a healthy diet, also helping to combat the obesity and diabetes problems plaguing Bronx residents. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Helping to reduce the effects of poor eating habits, the South Bronx Food Cooperative has expanded its facility and will offer new and exciting programs for members.

The SBxFC has been active since 2007, originally operating out of Nos Quedamos, 760 Melrose Ave, until enough funding was saved to expand into a new storefront at 3103 Third Avenue.

The store now offers a wide variety of healthy grocery items, including produce, bulk grain, herbs and spices, dairy, vegan products, hormone-free meat and poultry, and eco-friendly products.

Items are marked with two prices, a non-membership price and a reduced membership price. Members pay a one-time fee to sign up and join the cooperative. Membership fees vary from $ 40 to $ 120, payable in $ 10 increments.

The SBxFC, a volunteer owned and operated organization, is able to reduce the cost of nutritional food for members by reducing the labor costs. Each member donates three hours a month, giving them an opportunity to contribute towards and remain involved with the everyday dealings of the cooperative.

“We have meetings once a month and all members are invited. We are very open with all the transaction and financial dealings,” said Zena Nelson, founding member. “It’s a cooperative, it is supposed to be transparent. We also take suggestions from members.”

Also administered by volunteers, the SBxFC will be offering nutritional workshops and a cooking class to help educate the community on the numerous benefits associated with a healthier diet.

For those looking to find more balance in their lives and are in need a serene setting to clear their minds, yoga classes will be available Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m., with a suggested donation of $ 10.

The SBxFC currently has approximately 150 members, but over the next few years hopes to grow significantly. Eventually, as membership increases, the SBxFC plans to develop a commercial rooftop farm.

“We are trying to have people in the community recognize that there is a big connection between eating and your health,” said Nelson. “This is a learning experience and a social opportunity for all of us.”

To sign up for classes of for more information contact Nelson at (718) 401-3500 or visit

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