By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Black-led food co-op on the city’s South Side celebrated National Co-Op Month Saturday, with its first 2021 Fall Festival.

The festival in the Dan Ryan Woods, near 83rd Street and Western Avenue, featured food and lots of homemade goods from small businesses.

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It was also a family event with fun for the kids.

Co-ops, or cooperatives, are run by the members who use them. The Rev. Bernadine Harvin – board chairwoman for the Southside Food Co-Op, said they build economies in neighborhoods and fill needs when it is hard to find groceries nearby.

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“We’re one of the fastest growing co-ops in the nation,” Harvin said.

Neighbors met neighbors at the event Saturday, and there was even a petting zoo where kids could connect with some very calm and friendly small animals.

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Another goal is to hire young people from the community and train them in jobs that will lead to success later in life.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff