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Macon group hopes to open food co-op in historic Napier Heights

One Macon neighborhood could have a new, affordable grocery store within walking distance.

MACON, Ga. — Napier Heights is home for the Central High School Chargers, but it's also considered a food desert.

Now one group of residents is trying to change that.

"I live in Napier Heights, I grew up in Napier Heights," Andrea Cooke said.

Cooke was interested in bringing something new to Napier Heights when she got a $7,500 grant to fund her idea.

"A grant that the Napier Heights Food Co-op received as a result of the COVID-19 funding from the community foundation and United Way," she said.

Run by Cooke's organization, C-QUL, the co-op would be owned, housed, and operated by people in the neighborhood and give people living in the area an affordable, fresh produce option.

"Different types of greens and different types of fruits. I wanna bring more options to this community," she said.

Along with the $7,500 grant, co-creator Will Finkelstein started a fundraiser on his birthday, May 25. He says the initial goal was $525.

"I was hopeful that it was going to reach that. After two hours, before getting to my actual birthday, I was like, 'Ok, I can start to make this more'," he said.

In just five days, the group has raised $3,000. Finkelstein says that number will just keep growing.

"The more we have, the quicker we can start to provide food to an area that has dealt with a lack of commerce."

The group says so far, they have over 80 donors and they'll continue taking donations through their Facebook page.

Cooke says they do not have a location picked yet, but they'd like to have the co-op somewhere close to Central High School.

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