Vinegar Hill Women's Canning Cooperative
The Vinegar Hill Women's Canning Cooperative is an organization that wants to revive the recipes and cooking traditions lost when the Vinegar Hill neighborhood was razed.
The Vinegar Hill Project Women's Canning Cooperative is a worker’s cooperative made up of women who will produce local canned fruits and vegetables that are to be sold in the Charlottesville community. Using surplus, locally-grown food procured at little or no cost, members of the cooperative preserve food that might otherwise spoil or be turned into compost. Canning this food increases the shelf life.
Four African-American women from local communities are the founding members of this canning cooperative. Founders Denise Arnold, Mary Burton, Viola Friday, and Irene Scott manage the business with the help of Joanie Freeman as a business mentor. Some of these women have experience in canning, and they all possess the desire to develop those and other skills necessary to maintain the success of this project.
They are in the planning stage and are receiving training and support from other businesses. Once this is established they will be able to train others in canning and salesmanship, then recruit and educate a younger generation of canners to re-introduce healthy eating and the canning lifestyle to the community. The founders see this business venture as an opportunity to create jobs in the community. They also hope to expand the program to other counties as it becomes more established.