Update From the Co-op Council

Co-op council

Dear Hunger Mountain Co-op Community,

Hunger Mountain Co-op is here for you. We wish you and your loved ones well in this uncertain time.

We begin this message with a thank you. THANK YOU to the staff of Hunger Mountain Co-op. Each staff member has gone above and beyond in this unprecedented time to provide our community with essential services. As a council, we sincerely thank the staff, and ask that the next time you are in the store, you do, too (from a distance).

We also want to thank our local farmers and food producers. At a time when national supply chains are stretched thin, we are grateful for our strong local food system. We can’t help but find hope, in these early days of spring, in the new crops Vermont will soon be producing. The sap is flowing!

As a cooperative community, we know how to work together and take care of each other. We ask that you protect yourself and others as you shop; see our current shopper code of conduct at the bottom of this email. We want to emphasize that the most important thing you can do right now to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to minimize your time in the store and stay close to home. Please purchase only what you need so there will be enough for others. If you are able, please consider donating money or other resources to support vulnerable members of our community. View a small list of local resources at the end of this letter.

Our purpose in the coming weeks and months is simple: Hunger Mountain Co-op will keep our staff safe, our customers well provisioned, and the Co-op’s essential services operating. We will continue to adhere to the latest guidance from public health professionals. Please be sure to sign up for the Co-op’s eNews and read our online communications; check our Facebook and Instagram pages; and carefully read in-store signage for the most up-to-date information about shopper protocols, product availability, and operational adjustments. Thank you. 

Finally, we wanted to offer an update on the Co-op’s bylaws revision process. On March 16th, the Council met with the Bylaws Committee and approved their recommendations for revising the Co-op’s bylaws, giving strong support to bringing them to the Co-op’s Membership for ratification. We extend our sincere thanks to the Bylaw Committee for their dedication and care in clarifying and tidying the Co-op’s bylaws. We are postponing the May 18th special member meeting about the bylaw revisions until it is safe to gather a large group of people. Please stay tuned for updates.

Hunger Mountain Co-op takes seriously our commitment to serving this community. We will get through this. We are on the front end of this pandemic’s curve. We want to acknowledge the uncertainty of what lies between here and there, but know that we will get to the other side of the curve, together. As we do, Hunger Mountain Co-op will prioritize the safety of our employees and our shoppers while maintaining a steady supply of high-quality food for you, our community. Thank you for your understanding and care for community health in this time. Look after others, look after yourselves, and stay resilient, dear friends.

Yours,

The Hunger Mountain Co-op Council

We are asking you to adjust your shopping to protect yourself and others. Please adhere to our Shopper Code of Conduct:

  • Do not come to the Co-op if you are symptomatic of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • Please reserve the first hour of business (now 9—10 am) for high-risk shoppers, which includes seniors and those with underlying health issues.
  • Maintain a six-foot distance from others.
  • Shop efficiently and socialize outdoors.
  • Consider ways to minimize shopping trips for your neighbors and family.
  • Shop solo, including without children to the extent possible.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze, wash hands, use sanitizer, and try to touch only the products you purchase.

For more information about COVID-19:

Local ways for you to help:

  • Food Distribution Volunteer Sign-up for Washington County (a partnership between Community Harvest of Central Vermont and their gleaned food recipient partners including Capstone Community Action and the Vermont Foodbank)
  • The Peace and Justice Center has compiled a number of resources and community contacts across the state who are organizing local mutual aid efforts.
  • Montpelier Alive is providing daily updates about how local businesses are responding
  • The Vermont Community Foundation has created the Vermont COVID-19 Response Fund to channel funding and support to those who are most impacted by COVID-19.
  • NOFA-VT is organizing experienced milkers to step in when dairy farmers get sick. This relief is available to all dairy farmers and farm workers. Support NOFA’s COVID-19 relief work by donating to the Farmer Emergency Fund.