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One great, new addition to Johnstown is the Greater Prospect Co-Op Store. This convenience store opened in the summer of 2014 at 110 William Penn Ave. Among its many products that are sold, it provides fresh produce from local community gardens, and will soon include produce from gardens they have planted at their location. It’s also home to a Laundromat that uses a solar heating system that uses energy from the sun to heat the water.

The store currently provides everyday necessities at affordable prices. Future plans are to provide educational cooking classes to teach the local community how to cook using some of the food that they sell. Also, they plan on teaching the local community about starting their own vegetable garden even if they don’t have a big yard to put the garden in. These educational efforts are exactly what the City of Johnstown needs to move out of the age of the fast food restaurant and into a future of healthy eating and sustainability.

The Greater Prospect Co-op Store is doing its part to combat food insecurity in our region by targeting this neighborhood specifically. The store’s educational cooking classes will give Johnstown a needed program to help families eat healthier. But one of the biggest benefits of this store is the affordability of the produce. Healthy eating and drinking choices are often more expensive, so many families resort to choosing a less healthy choice. The co-op store strives to offer healthy options like milk, fresh produce and other often expensive food items at reasonable prices.

It took hard work and dedication from many groups and individuals to open the GPS Co-op, and they hope to be not just a convenience, but an inspiration to the Prospect community. The store is already off to a great start in providing the community with fresh produce and will hopefully grow into a thriving organization in future years.

— Nathan Madison, CFA Youth Philanthropy Intern

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