Happy August from the Co-op! I hope your summer has been fun and relaxing and that we all get some extended warm weather. Here are a few notes on some Co-op happenings:

HMCCF Applications - When we started the Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund in 2005, we weren’t sure what it could be. We knew there was a need for community giving in line with the co-op’s mission, and we knew folks wanted to give, but it wasn't clear if we could have a meaningful impact. However, thanks to generous donations from members like you, we have now delivered over $40,000 in grants to dozens of local organizations doing great work in our community. Based on the reports we get back, those grants, which are between a couple hundred and a couple of thousand dollars, have a significant impact in support of innovative and important projects in the area of food insecurity, education and much more.

The 2017 grant application is available now and due Thursday, August 31. Please help us spread the word and if you have a cool project connected to community, health, local food, and/or sustainability, please consider applying. You can also help us celebrate this year’s grant award winners at the Co-op’s annual meeting on Thursday, November 2. 

Council Applications - The Co-op’s council is our governing body, elected by the member-owners to represent their interests and guide the Co-op forward in achieving our mission. It’s a massive responsibility and can also be a lot of fun. I have served on a number of boards, but the Council is unique: democratically-elected, a dynamic operating environment, and the power of a robust mission with the resources of a good-sized business. Council members inevitably learn things, and they always contribute. 

If you are interested in running, the process is simple: read over the Council Candidate Information Guide, fill out the application, gather signatures from at least nine member-owners, and submit your statement and photo by Sunday, September 3. We have added some optional steps to help you learn what it’s like to be on the Council, including a series of information sessions that begin on August 18. Elections for the four open seats will begin in October, and the results will be announced after our annual meeting. 

If serving on the council is not for you, you can still contribute by voting and by sharing your perspective with council members and staff. Governance is critical to the success of all cooperatives; thank you for participating.

I hope to see you at the Co-op’s Summer Party on Sunday, August 20. As always, thank you for supporting the Co-op and contributing to our community.

Kari Bradley

General Manager