Oshkosh Food Co-op Capital Campaign Nears 80% of $1.6 Million Goal

Published Thursday, March 19, 2020
by Brenda Haines

The Oshkosh Food Co-op campaign to open a community-owned grocery store at the corner of Jackson Street and Pearl Avenue has raised $1,276,402 in gifts, loans and verbal commitments, with five organizations announcing their support and one challenging co-op members and community to help reach the campaign goal by March 31, 2020.


  • The Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation has announced support for the Oshkosh Food Co-op’s Chatty Checkout, for shoppers who prefer social interaction in-store. The support follows the Women’s Fund’s 10-year campaign to help end social isolation, a plight with health impacts equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes/day.
  • The Alberta Kimball Foundation has pledged support for the project. The Foundation carries forward the legacy of Oshkosh businesswoman and philanthropist Alberta Kimball, co-founder of the former Miles Kimball Company.
  • First Congregational Church will make loans to support the project. The central city church’s leadership teams voted to support the project based on their social justice work and goals for strengthening Oshkosh’s central city.
  • The JEK Foundation is making a loan to the Oshkosh Food Co-op through the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, based on the belief that locally sourced and produced goods are vital for the health and wellbeing of the community.
  • The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation has pledged a $100,000 loan to the co-op. Two anonymous donors are matching the loan. The Community Foundation is challenging co-op member-owners and other community organizations to raise an additional $200,000 and help the co-op reach its capital campaign goal by March 31, 2020.


“These organizations share our vision for strengthening the local economy, promoting health and building community,” said Brenda Haines, Oshkosh Food Co-op Board President. “We are grateful for their support for bringing a community-owned grocery store to Oshkosh’s central city.”


The Co-op plans has leased 8,000 square feet of space from Merge Urban Development on the first floor of the proposed BRIO Building and must complete its fund-raising by March 31, 2020 in order to move forward with its plans for this site. Anyone wishing to support the campaign can do so by making a tax-deductible, charitable gift through the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Co-op member-owners can make loans to the campaign.


About the Oshkosh Food Co-op

The Oshkosh Food Co-op is a community-led effort to open a full-service grocery store in the heart of Oshkosh. Modeled after member-owned grocery stores in Wisconsin and nationwide, the Oshkosh Food Co-op organized in 2013. Individuals and organizations from throughout the region are invited to help the Oshkosh Food Co-op bring its vision – to strengthen local economies, promote health and build communities – to life by purchasing an ownership share in the co-op. Ownership shares cost $180, payable all at once or in $11/mo. installments for 18 months. To learn more, visit www.oshkoshfoodcoop.com/join