Liz Barnhart

Why are you interested in serving on the board of Bloomington Cooperative Services (BCS)?
I am deeply invested in the relationship between food and community. I believe in creating a better, more equitable environment for workers, co-op members, and community. I can facilitate better connections with people so that I can advocate on their behalf.

What experience or involvement have you had with Bloomingfoods or other cooperatives?
I am a former employee of Bloomingfoods. It was my first job when I moved into town and it was where I made the friends and connections that made Bloomington feel like home to me. I have also been a member of the Bloomington                          Housing Cooperative for 4 years.

What has been your experience working cooperatively with small groups of people?
My job as Volunteer Coordinator at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard entails me working with many different community groups. I value the importance of creating a safe space for people to voice their life experiences and perspectives. I also live in a BCL house which requires patience, empathy, and effective communication skills.

Please share any professional, volunteer, or life experience you have had that will provide insight when serving on the BCS Board of Directors. Include knowledge, skills, formal training, and education that will contribute to the mission of our co-op.
I have been involved with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard for seven years. In that time I have worked on food sustainability, advocacy, nutrition education, gardening, and community building. I received a B.S in Community Health and the focus of my studies were program implementation, substance abuse, and food security.

How do your values and lifestyle align with the values and mission of the co-op?
I believe that access to healthy food is a basic human right. I believe in accountability, sustainability, and education. I value supporting local businesses and farms. believe in environmental respect and responsibility. Most importantly, I believe in building a community in which everyone can grow and support one another.

Given the stated Ends of BCS, what do you see as the primary role of BCS in the community?
The primary role of BCS is to provide food to community members in a way that promotes sustainability, is accessible, and stimulates local economy. We build community connections through meaningful employment and educational opportunities. BCS takes input from the community to meet the needs of the people they serve.

What are opportunities and challenges you see for BCS in the future expression of these Ends?
BCS should be challenged to show support fir vulnerable populations in our community. We need to not just promote diversity, but to create a safe place for it to flourish. We have an opportunity to create more accessibility to community members and to reflect on what meaningful employment looks like.

Please share any other brief statement that you feel is important regarding your potential service as a member of our board.
I am committed to BCS and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to be more involved with this organization.


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