A typical $3 Dinner: a cheeseburger, coleslaw, carrots, and baked beans. Photo by Rodney Margison


In its continuing mission to make local, healthy foods available to everyone, Bloomingfoods has introduced two new initiatives.

Bloomingfoods for All offers an ongoing 10 percent discount to those currently enrolled in the WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) nutritional program or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Participants must become Bloomingfoods members, a one-time $90 cost, but have the option of making those payments over 24 months.

“The fact is, just because you’re on public assistance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have access to quality food,” says General Manager Tony Alongi.

The discount is automatically and discreetly applied at the register because all co-op members are identified by their member numbers.

Making purchases even more affordable, all members have 18 discount opportunities each year, Alongi explains. “So if you shop on Owner Appreciation Day and there is a 10 percent discount, that stacks up on top of your Bloomingfoods for All 10 percent discount.”

Bloomingfoods also recently introduced $3 Dinner Night. Available every Wednesday evening at the Near West Side store, and every Thursday evening at the East Side Bloomingfoods, $3 Dinner Night is just what it sounds like.

“It’s dinner for $3,” Alongi says. One example is Burger Night, with hamburger and veggie burger options and coleslaw, carrots, and baked bean sides. Alongi says to look for other menus featuring pasta, chili, and a baked potato bar.

“It’s a basic dinner,” he says. “But it’s a full dinner.”

Alongi says the dinners are a way to feed people, and also to open the door to people who have never ventured into the co-op stores.

“We still hear, ‘Bloomingfoods is for hippies,’ or some other version of that,” he says. “But we just sell food. That’s what we do—we sell food.”

Both programs support the co-op principle of concern for the community, Alongi says. “And they’re examples of the affordability of the co-op. Just because you have less money doesn’t mean your diet should be any less healthy.”

For more information, including how to apply for Bloomingfoods for All and to see $3 Dinner Night menus, visit bloomingfoods.coop.