Veggie Co-op to be Run by Ex-Foster Care Kids Clears Fundraising Goal

By Jeff Mays | August 18, 2011 7:05pm 
Former social worker Gregory Allen, 38, want to transform this abandoned bodega into an employee-owned co-op selling organic vegetables and run by young people who have aged out of the social services system.
Former social worker Gregory Allen, 38, want to transform this abandoned bodega into an employee-owned co-op selling organic vegetables and run by young people who have aged out of the social services system.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM—The Sweet Work Project is officially underway.

Former social worker Gregory Allen has surpassed his $22,835 fund-raising goal to open a pop-up vegetable co-op in an abandoned West Harlem bodega that will be staffed by former foster kids who have grown out of the social services system.

So far, 395 people have pledged $24,058 to the project. A link to the project was also posted on the Beastie Boys' Facebook page.

Because Allen thinks the project will ultimately require up to $250,000 to run in the long-term, fundraising is continuing on Kickstarter, a website that allows people to contribute to a project, until Saturday.

"To see people believe in this is both surprising and empowering," said Allen, 38.