FSN has created a guide explaining how to start and maintain a bulk buying club in your community in Newfoundland and Labrador. Below is a quick excerpt from the Toolkit to introduce you to what bulk buying clubs are and why they're great for communities. Go to the FSN website to download a copy of the full Bulk Buying Clubs Best Practices Toolkit!
What is a Bulk Buying Club?
A bulk buying club is a group of people with similar food preferences who come together to buy food in bulk. All participants of a bulk buying club are involved in the planning, shopping, sorting, and delivering of food. These clubs enable individuals to work with a group of like-minded people to get more with their food dollars.
All Bulk Buying Clubs have the same underlying purpose: to provide nutritious food at a lower cost for a group of people.
There are three common types of bulk buying programs: Food Box Programs, Food Cooperatives, and Bulk Buying Clubs.
Food box programs are typically managed by a third-party agency that buys food in bulk and distributes food boxes to members for a fee.
Food cooperatives are legally incorporated cooperative organizations where members are owners, which gives them access to lower priced food purchased in bulk by the cooperative.
Bulk buying clubs are often smaller, more informal groups of friends or neighbours that come together to buy food in bulk to save money.
This toolkit is focused on the bulk buying club model and highlights examples from the Brighter Futures Level Best Bulk Buying Clubs across Newfoundland and Labrador.
A bulk buying club can help improve food security for participants by increasing physical and economic access to adequate amounts of healthy food. Bulk buying clubs can provide economic, health, educational, and social benefits to participants. By being involved in a bulk buying club, participants can:
- Save money on healthy foods by purchasing with others
- Learn about the benefits of healthy eating and low cost cooking
- Develop important health and food safety skills
- Learn how to read food labels
- Build organizational, budgeting, and shopping skills
- Learn how to use Canada’s Food Guide
- Get to know other families and learn about new foods, recipes, and cultures
- Get more with their food dollar by purchasing large quantities as part of a group
- Try new foods and learn about new recipes
- Work in a social atmosphere and meet new friends!