COVID-19 Member & Shopper Update 4/22

Greetings from the Co-op,

Kari Bradley general manager

Since the onset of this crisis, our team has been driven to keep our community as safe as possible while still providing the good food and essential products we all need. With this in mind, we are working towards expanding our Curbside Pick-Up program with increased selection, more specific product information, and online payment. We have been testing our new systems and expect to announce a formal relaunch in the coming days.

In the meantime, we have a special request when shopping the traditional way. For the sake of everyone’s safety, we ask that you limit the number of trips you make to the Co-op and the number of people you shop with to the greatest extent that works for you. The number of Co-op transactions per week is down over 50% but we still have more than 600 per day on average. Let’s all recognize that shopping for food is a necessity and that we all contribute to crowding and elevated levels of risk. There are no hard and fast rules here but we appreciate all efforts to keep our Co-op community as safe as possible.

If you are seeking quieter times to shop, we recommend Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. Fridays and Wednesdays appear to consistently be our busiest days so you may want to plan around those. We are reserving the first hour of the day (9–10 am) for our shoppers who are at the highest risk; however, you won’t necessarily avoid crowds by being here right as we open. If you are stocking up with a large shop, we respectfully request that you arrive at the Co-op well before our closing time of 6 pm.

With regards to reusable shopping bags: It is ok to bring them but we ask that you be prepared to bag your own groceries when you do. We prefer folks not to bring back reusable materials (egg cartons, paper bags, cans, and bottles) for the time being. One exception being Strafford Creamery milk bottles. They are facing bottle shortages and we need those back to keep their milk coming.

Finally, our friends at the Vermont Foodbank need our help. They are reporting up to 100% increases in the number of folks in need of food assistance at the same time that their people and systems need to adapt to the new realities of the pandemic. Consider supporting the Vermont Foodbank by rounding up your purchases this month using our Give Change program or making a donation directly.

Thank you for your patience and support. We are many weeks into this crisis and doing many things well. It’s also still the early stages. I am confident that we will persevere through this by working hard and focusing on our community values and relationships.

Be well and stay safe,
Kari Bradley, General Manager

Local ways for you to help:

Food Distribution & Other Essential Needs: Volunteer tasks include delivering food and medicine, pre-bagging food, and answering hotline calls from home. This is a partnership between Harvest of Central Vermont and Washington & Northern Orange Counties Regional Response Command Center.

The Vermont Foodbank has shifted its operations to meet the increasing and changing community needs in light of COVID-19. You can help make sure that pantries are filled and that people are prepared to take good care of themselves and their loved ones.

NOFA-VT’s Farmer Emergency Fund provides farmers with the needed cash flow in times of an emergency, to help them recover and ultimately become more resilient farmers. Support NOFA’s COVID-19 relief work by donating to the Farmer Emergency Fund.

Additional Resources