A community group in Central Brooklyn is determined to bring more affordable food products to its work-class community. But after three years of conducting neighborhood surveys, one question still needs to be resolved: How much should a bag of groceries cost?

The question was raised during September’s monthly held by the Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC). The organization hopes to launch a food co-op — an alternative to conventional grocery stores. Shoppers buy memberships to participate in food co-ops, which are run democratically by their founding organizations.

“We see ourselves as building local resilience in the face of gentrification,” said BMC Executive Director Mark Winston Griffith.

The BMC-sponsored food co-op pursues “food justice” for the working class residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, say its members. The BMC is already a multi-faceted organization tackling community issues such as anti-street harassment and police accountability.

While still a budding operation that is in formation, the food co-op’s board members fear becoming what they have criticized: a co-op focused more on the joys of eating organic rather than on keeping those organic groceries affordable for the largely black and Puerto Rican residents in the area.

Cheryl Griffin, a Boston-native and one of the older attendees of the meeting at age 70, has been with the Central Brooklyn Food Co-op since its beginning.

“The idea grew around a food desert,” Griffin said. “We did a survey. People had to travel miles to go to a decent grocery store.”

A food desert is defined as an area where there is no access to fresh produce and other healthy foods—a place with plenty of convenience stores and bodegas, but no larger grocery stores.

At the meeting, Steph Wiley, part-owner of the food packaging service the Brooklyn Packers, proposed a partnership with the co-op. Wiley’s business acts as the middle man between local farms and food delivery services like Blue Apron.

He offered $25 for a bag with six to eight vegetables. He said that while each bag could be customizable in size and price, $25 was the best he could do for a bag of that size.

“I like to work with small farms,” Wiley said. “Food is best when local.”

But some members emphasized that the co-op should match the non-profit GrowNYC’s price of $12 per bag, in order to keep it accessible.

“The folks we’re trying to serve—or rather get involved the most would not, at a higher price,” Griffin said.

While ultimately not resolved, conversations like these reflect the Central Brooklyn Co-op’s priorities, says Philadelphia-native Shale Maulana, who has worked at other food co-ops such as the one in Park Slope.

“I think that there are cultural differences between here and other food co-ops.” Maulana said. “Others, culturally, tend to be exclusive by nature. Here, we constantly ask: how do we best include working class residents of color?”