Meet a Committee Member: Mary Rizzo

On which committee do you serve?

Legal and Finance.

What do you do for a living?

Nonprofit management (aka intellectual do-goodery)

How did you get involved with the food co-op?

I moved to the neighborhood less than two years ago with a commitment to becoming involved in some way. I attended a PSCA meeting, at which the co-op organizers presented. Having written about co-ops historically and dreamed for years of being involved with the creation of one, I had to get involved.

Why do you want a food co-op in South Philly?

We’re pretty lucky in South Philly with the variety of food that exists in the area–from the Italian Market to the Asian grocery stores. But a co-op to me is much more than a place to buy food. It’s about forging community. Back in the 1970s, people thought co-ops would eliminate capitalism. They definitely overestimated their influence, but they had a vision of a less consumerist, more connective lifestyle that is extremely appealing to me and that more people should be aware of.

Why should people join a food co-op?

To get involved in their neighborhood through one of the most basic and powerful human activities–eating!

What is your favorite meal to cook and why?

My cooking exploits occur in phases. While I was in college, I baked and decorated cakes like a madwoman. A couple years ago, I started making bread and was determined to cook my way through Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Bread Bible–I’ve stalled, unfortunately. Lately, I’ve been doing quick (pesco)vegetarian meals, like asian salmon burgers with slaw or brussel sprout salad with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts (if you want the recipe it’s at: ). But, truly, with so much amazing food to eat in Philadelphia, it’s hard to justify cooking..

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