Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2012


Stevenson Center, food security


The purpose of this report is to understand the current food needs of marginalized community-members in the Bloomington-Normal area, to learn how Green Top Grocery may help improve food security among these residents, and to ascertain viable mechanisms to encourage involvement in the cooperative among a diversity of local residents. The findings are based on data from three focus groups and nine key-informant interviews conducted in the Bloomington-Normal community. Key findings most relevant to Green Top’s goal of encouraging a diverse membership include the following: Green Top may wish to use existing networks to build trust in the Bloomington-Normal community, keeping in mind they will need communicate in multiple languages; Green Top could educate the public about what a grocery cooperative is; Green Top could consider the needs of marginalized community members when making infrastructure decisions such was where to locate their store. A number of other findings are discussed. In conclusion, additional research is highly recommended for Green Top to move forward with their goals.


We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the key stakeholders and the focus group participants who shared their insights and perspectives. Many thanks to Western Avenue Community Center and Unity Community Center for allowing us to hold focus groups on their premises and for their assistance along the way. We would also like to thank Green Top Grocery for providing a starting point for this research and guiding questions. Additionally, we would also like to acknowledge the generous support of Dr. Vernon Pohlmann through the Pohlmann Family Development Grant. Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Joan Brehm for her guidance and encouragement throughout this project, the Stevenson Center for the resources and support, as well as Dr. Maura Toro-Morn for translating the focus group consent form into Spanish, which was much appreciated.