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Eat healthy, save money at a food co-op

Shopping » Some Salt Lake valley shoppers say buying food at co-ops helps them save money and help others.

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Shop » Just like a regular grocery store, the public can shop at the co-op during regular business hours (See below). Customers who want to ensure that they get organic produce every week can pre-order either online or in person a special produce baskets, priced between $12 and $26.50. The largest basket contains about a week’s worth of fruits and vegetables. Baskets can be picked up during regular business hours.

Giving back » After paying rent and utilities — there’s no payroll — all the profits are donated to a different Utah charity each month. The co-op also offers people with special needs job training through volunteering.

At a glance

Wasatch Cooperative Market

A membership drive is currently underway to start the Wasatch Cooperative Market.

Organizers say this member-owned grocery store will sell high-quality natural, healthy, sustainable foods and goods, with an emphasis on Utah-made products. While everyone will be welcome to shop at the store, those who have paid the $300 membership fee would enjoy additional benefits.

Organizers hope to have 500 paid co-op members by July 2013. Currently, 165 people have joined.

For more information or to become a member, visit www.wasatch.coop.

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Director comments » The mark-up on items ranges from 5 to 25 cents above cost, Zel-Pappas said. That saves shoppers "25 to 90 percent" over grocery store prices. "Because it’s affordable, people can make healthy choices and still be on a budget," she said.

Shoppers say » Since Ashley Palmer and her husband started buying the weekly produce basket, "we’ve cut our grocery bill in half and we weren’t even buying all organic before." The Midvale resident said the produce is always fresh and the basket offers a good variety. "It’s more than enough for me and my husband."

Adds regular shopper Barbara Koppang: "When you can eat good healthy food, even when you are poor, it helps bring you up. You have more energy and your family doesn’t get sick as easy." Koppang, of Murray, also likes that her money goes to charity. "It doesn’t just help me, it helps someone else."

Requirements » There are no requirements to shop at the Utah Co-op, Zel Pappas said. "But if you fall in love with the co-op, we ask that you tell at least two people a year about it."

Location » 4892 S. Commerce Drive (300 West) Murray; 801-566-2223. Open Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Online » utahcoop.org

kathys@sltrib.com; Twitter: @kathystephenson or facebook.com/kathy.k.stephenson

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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