Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 18, 2013

Locals form buying club

Joining forces to cut costs, eat healthy

ASHLAND — With a budget based on the income of a schoolteacher and a working musician, Lisa McNeal is one of many local residents who intimately understands the value of a dollar at a grocery store.

With a desire to eat healthy foods without breaking the bank, McNeal is one of a dozen who’ve already joined forces to form the Healthy Foods Buying Club.

“We’re looking to change that to something a little more catchy,” McNeal said with a chuckle last week after an organizational meeting in the food court at the Kyova Mall. The effort began in earnest about three weeks ago, she said, largely crediting the involvement of Bethany Deborde and Rolling Hills Folk Center for getting the ball rolling.

“We got a really great response from people, so we decided to go ahead and set our meeting,” she said. “Everybody who hears about it gets excited.”

Cattle farmer John Ruggles of Olive Hill was at the first meeting and provided insight based on his experience with buying clubs and co-ops, McNeal said.

“He was a wealth of information,” she said.

Ruggles will fill the club’s first beef order from his Rolling “R” Farm, where he raises grass-fed cattle without antibiotics, steroids or hormones. McNeal said the order will be placed next week, allowing newcomers an opportunity to get in on the deal.

“We already have 50 people and it is just word of mouth,” she said. “The bigger the crowd, the better the buying power.”

The folk center has arranged for a trip to Lexington for a tour and talk with the staff at Good Foods Market, which began “as an even smaller buying club than we have,” McNeal said, explaining organizers hope the new club can grow into something to benefit the community.

“We’re hoping to someday have a co-op with a storefront,” she said. “We’re hopeful for big things.”

The group is seeking local sources for food, including poultry, dairy products, grains and produce.

“With local foods we can get both the quality and a good price. Plus, there’s a freshness factor there,” McNeal said, explaining options for dairy products are limited by strict regulations, although club members may have other options to explore for those foods.

Early conversations have also pointed out the need for education programs, such as classes in canning and preserving fresh foods in season or cheese making. McNeal said she believes people who get involved with the club will be surprised about the choices.

“They will have more food options that they’re not aware of because we are moving away from the grocery store,” she said.

For more information about the effort, look for the Facebook pages of the club or folk center or call McNeal at (606) 315-4609.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.

Text Only
Local News
  • Robbery suspect still on loose

    Authorities are still looking for a man who robbed a gas station in the 1500 block of Shopes Creek Road on Thursday night.

    August 1, 2014

  • 'There just isn't anything else like it'

    Some patrons who have been going to the annual Fancy Farm Picnic for years claim they can smell the barbecue smoking from the junction of the Western Kentucky Parkway and I-24, 25 miles away.

    August 1, 2014

  • 140802FancyFarmEve_193.jpg McConnell will be ready for Fancy Farm

    Don’t be surprised if Mitch McConnell has some extra pep in his step when he arrives Saturday for the 134th annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political free-for-all here in far western Kentucky.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kentucky gets driver’s license extension

    Kentuckians don’t have to worry about their driver’s licenses for another year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Local entrepreneurs learning to thrive

    Local business owners and entrepreneurs sat down together with community leaders to share ideas for how to help each other thrive in eastern Kentucky’s economic climate.

    August 1, 2014

  • RONNIE ELLIS: Truth and politics don’t always mix

    On this, the most political weekend of the year in Kentucky, the weekend of the wonderfully unique Fancy Farm Picnic, it’s hard to write a column on politics.

    August 1, 2014

  • In Kentucky, execution debate finds new footing

    With a spate of botched executions across the country this year looming over their discussion, Kentucky lawmakers are revisiting some fundamental questions about the death penalty, including whether the state should keep it on the books.

    August 1, 2014

  • Families invited for Fun in the Park

     Free cotton candy, hot dogs and entertainment for an entire day is what Bridges Christian Church in Russell is offering local families during Fun in the Park this weekend.

    August 1, 2014

  • AEP reports stolen copper, fence damage

     All that glitters is not gold — sometimes, it's also copper.

    August 1, 2014

  • Probe of Fairview begins

    Four investigators from the state Office of Education Accountability spent much of Thursday interviewing school officials in a probe of alleged school law violations in the Fairview Independent School District.

    July 31, 2014