Maryland Food Co-Op 10th Anniversary Poster

Maryland Food Co-Op 10th Anniversary Poster

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Roger Hecht created this poster in 1986 to announce a party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Maryland Food Co-op. Printed on yellow/gold typing paper, it features the Co-op’s slogan, “Food for People Not for Profit,” and the image of a fist punching through a sandwich. Portraits of the leftist revolutionaries Che Guevara and Augusto Sandino appear in the top left and right corners, respectively. Che is pictured wearing a black beret in the style of the iconic photograph, “Guerillero Heroico,” taken in 1960 by Ablerto Korda. Sandino is shown wearing his characteristic wide-brimmed hat. The evocation of these two figures emphasizes the connection between food movements like the Maryland Food Co-op and broader political activism of the era. Hecht, the artist who created the design, worked at the Co-op from 1981 to 1985 and donated the poster.
The Maryland Food Co-op was founded in 1975 in the midst of unrest. Students at the University of Maryland, College Park, had been advocating for changes to the university’s food system for several years, citing poor food quality, customer service, and questionable sanitation. Their agitation increased when they learned in 1974 that food facilities in the Stamp Student Union might close for failing to meet county food sanitation standards. In August 1975 student Matt Mayer submitted a proposal to the Student Government Association to organize the Maryland Food Collective, which became known as the Co-op. Before Mayer’s proposal for the Co-op was approved, some students are believed to have taken action by making sandwiches at home and selling them on the campus as part of a “Guerilla sandwich line.” This detail in the Co-op’s origin narrative is echoed in the fist and sandwich graphic on the anniversary poster.
The Co-op continues to operate on the university campus, selling sandwiches, produce, and healthy food items. Staffed by both paid workers and volunteers (who exchange their labor for credit at the store), the Co-op is a worker’s collective, where everyone has an equal voice.
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
dark gold (overall color)
overall: 17 in x 11 in; 43.18 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
nonaccession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Roger Hecht
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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