As environmental sustainability continues to gain cultural traction, the Bowdon Food Co-Op is capitalizing on that trend by preparing healthy, local, and organic meals every week.
“We want to provide students with a creative outlet that has an environmental message with it,” said club leader Julia Livermore ’13.
Founded in 2009, the Bowdoin Food Co-Op fell apart briefly after its original leaders graduated. Livermore and fellow seniors Noelle Schoettle and Melissa Arliss revamped the club in the spring of 2010. 
“We completely restructured the club. It’s a lot more organized now and hopefully more involved for the members as well,” Livermore said. 
Each Monday night, three to four people sign up to cook for the 20 other members on a budget of $70. 
Ian Kline ’15, a member and future leader of the club, says that this new system “does a really great job of getting everyone to participate.”
For the first time this Fall, the club leadership secured an operating budget that covers food. Members no longer have to pay four dollars for each meal as they have in past years, and Livermore says that membership and participation are up as a result.
 Receiving funding has also allowed for the group to strenghen its focus on organic and local ingredients, says Livermore. 
Some of their funding has also gone toward replacing cooking supplies, which, according to Livermore, disappeared over the summer from  the kitchen in 30 College St. These thefts may prevent the club from hosting Thanksgiving dinner and other events.
In addition to working towards sustainability, the co-op also teaches its members to cook on a budget.
Cooking for 20 hungry college students on a $70 budget can be difficult, but both Kline and Livermore say that the meals are local, delicious, and inexpensive. 
Many students—especially first years—don’t have access to a kitchen and the co-op allows them to cook together and eat a meal around a table with friends. Kline says the Bowdoin Food Co-Op feels like a home.
Kline knew that he wanted to join the co-op before arriving at school as a first year last fall, and said that of all the clubs he joined “the food co-op was one that really hit home.” 
In the future, Kline and Livermore hope to involve the community more and possibly host a Thanksgiving food drive.
They would also like to educate students about how and where to buy sustainable produce. The co-op is partnering with Green Bowdoin and the Bowdoin Organic Garden to sponsor a visit from author Janisse Ray in Feburary. 
Ray, who often lectures on environmental issues, will come to the Food Co-Op and cook a meal with the club.