“The Markham Nathan Fund for Social Justice has supported the Compost Co-operative since BEFORE we launched our food scraps hauling business in 2018. Developed inside the Greenfield Jail in 2017 by incarcerated people and community members working together to address the interconnected issues of climate catastrophe and high rates of re-incarceration in our rural county, The Compost Co-op now diverts approximately 100 tons of waste per year from the landfill/incinerator.
MNF has been with us every step of the way. First they contributed to the purchase of a truck and lift gate. Then they helped us launch residential pickups. Their support allowed us to survive the pandemic, when we lost 90 percent of our revenue. With their generous and continued investment, we have built out our 9-month training program, which supports every worker becoming a worker-owner of this business.
In 2020, after realizing that for our business to be sustainable, all of our members require safe and affordable housing, especially those with experience of incarceration, we took the unusual step of purchasing a dilapidated building in Greenfield to turn into affordable units. Our partner in this project, Oxbow Design Build Cooperative of Easthampton, aims to have the renovation of 2 units of affordable housing completed by the end of the year. Our lender, Cooperative Fund of the Northeast, has asked us to raise funds for a reserve account – to cover unexpected vacancies and repairs/replacements – before they will release their loan. Once again, MNF has come through in 2022 with a $4,000 grant for our housing campaign.
Thank you does not express our gratitude to this group of visionary supporters of local, grassroots projects. We are honored to be part of the Markham Nathan network!”
- enrich the soil, rebuild lives The Compost Co-operative