October Local Focus

Our community extends well beyond the walls of the Co-op. Each month,we shine the spotlight on a new group of local partners to help share their stories and celebrate their role in our community.

Featured Vendor: La Riojana Wines

Although our Featured Vendor of the month is usually one of our local vendors, this month we have selected a vendor who is also a cooperative, as part of our month-long Co-op Month celebration. 

La Riojana Wines, one of the largest co-operatives in Argentina, is also the country’s third largest exporter of wine by volume. Their co-operative is made up of over 500 producer partners, including some who have been with the company since its inception. The vast majority of those partners are small-scale producers, most of whom own three hectares or less of land. According to the company, “They are the backbone, the foundation, to the winery’s success and everything La Riojana does is based on providing help, support and services that allow our members and their families to grow and prosper in their own communities across La Rioja province.” As with any cooperative business model, every one of those members has a vote in deciding the direction and policies of the company, which provides every member a higher than average market price for their grapes. Members also benefit through collective purchasing of services and products, which provides them with lower prices, financial support to help them through difficult times, and technical or agricultural advice. The company notes, “By working closely with our members, we are able to ensure that all the products produced by La Riojana (from wines, sparkling wines, grape juice, to olive oil) meet the highest quality standards expected by our international partners and customers.”

Give Change to Support Community Harvest of Central Vermont

This month, you can “round up” your purchase at the register at Hunger Mountain Co-op and give the extra change to Community Harvest of Central Vermont (CHCV) in support of providing healthy, fresh, local food to those with limited access to it. In 2017, CHCV gleaned almost 25,000 pounds of food from local farms and donated almost 38,000 pounds in all to area nonprofit organizations. They glean mostly produce but also meat and dairy and are part of the Vermont Gleaning Collective, working to reduce the 14 million pounds of wasted food every year. CHCV does market gleaning at the Montpelier Farmers Market every Saturday, with all of their market gleaning in September and October sponsored by Hunger Mountain Co-op. Most of what they glean at the market is donated to Montpelier Food Pantry. Along with all of the recipient organizations their gleaned food is donated to, they also work with thirty to forty different farms every season as well as homeowners who may have a surplus from their gardens, orchards, etc. Along with keeping gleaned food as local as possible, they also focus on making and strengthening connections between nonprofits, farmers, volunteers and the community at large.

Bag that Bag to Help a Neighbor in Need

Help support the Montpelier Food Pantry every time you shop at Hunger Mountain Co-op just by remembering your reusable bags! For each bag, basket or box that you use at the register, we will donate five cents. In September, those nickels added up to $815.05 for the Montpelier Food Pantry and 16,301 bags saved! Since July, you have helped to raise a total of $2,697.15 and saved 53,943 bags. The grand total raised over the pat year is now up to $10,895.55! Through a recent grant from the Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund, the Montpelier Food Pantry has launched a recipe kit program. Click here to visit the Food Pantry on Facebook and learn more about all the great work they’re doing.

Featured Artist: Kate Spring

October’s Artist of the Month is Kate Spring, co-owner of Good Heart Farmstead in Worcester. The Farmstead offers CSA shares between January and November, while also providing items wholesale to area restaurants and selling at the Worcester Farmers Market. Along with running an organic farm and writing her blog, The Good Heart Life, Spring has added photography to her repertoire. Read more about her work here.

Community Events

Our annual Fall food and Wellness Fair is coming up on Saturday, November 3, from 10am to 2pm at the Montpelier City Hall Arts Center. Read more about it here.

We also offer a variety of workshops, events, and vendor demos to delight and inform our shoppers. View our calendar for upcoming events here.