From the General Manager – June 14, 2020

Kari Bradley general manager

Our Co-op has changed in many ways since early March as we adjust to providing food for the community in the safest ways we can. Most of that change has been to the operational practices of being a grocery retailer. But we also need to attend to the practices that make us a transparent, inclusive, and member-driven association. As with other democracies, our co-op must adapt to the current realities while remaining true to our values. Here is an update on some of our programs relating to Co-op membership:

Co-op Council
Our council (board of directors) continues to meet monthly by video conference to fulfill its governance responsibilities and the next meeting will be June 22 at 5:30 pm. Members are welcome to observe meetings and the log-in/call-in information is posted on the meeting agenda. Among other topics, our council is starting to think about the long term implications of the pandemic and how the Co-op can plan for the successful accomplishment of our Ends.

Council Election
Council service is critical to that success and we will have several open seats in this year’s election. If you are interested in becoming a council member, you can read our information guide, attend one of our information sessions, contact a current council member and take a look at the application, which is due September 8.

Our first online information session will be on Monday, June 15 at 6 pm. Join us by using the info below.

Additional dates and times for upcoming info sessions:

  • Wednesday, June 24, 8:30 – 9:30 am
  • Friday, July 10, noon – 1 pm
  • Saturday, July 25, 8:30 – 9:30 am
  • Monday, Aug. 10, 5:30 – 6:60 pm
  • Monday, Aug. 31, 4:30 – 5:30 pm
  • Thursday, Sept. 3, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Patronage Refunds
Our co-op issued refunds in March and we let you know by mail if you received one this year. Given the circumstances, we are extending the deadline to claim your refund until July 31. Most members use their refund as a credit at the cash register but you may also request a check to be mailed to you by contacting us at info@hungermountain.coop.

Equity Payments
Given the financial strain that some members are under, member equity payments have been suspended for the coming year. If you would still like to support the Co-op in this way, you are more than welcome to make an investment of $15 or more at the registers or pay equity online. Contact us at info@hungermountain.coop or (802) 262-3202 with questions.

Annual Meeting
While we cannot meet in person this year, we are still planning for our annual meeting of the members by video conference and phone. We hope you can join us Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 pm. We will do our best to recreate the spirit of our annual meeting and feature many of the typical reports, appreciations, and opportunities for feedback and input. It will be good to come together as a membership even if only remotely.

Thank you for supporting the Co-op. Together we are working our way through these challenging times. I hope that you and your loved ones are well.

Kari Bradley, General Manager


Coming Soon: Vermont’s New Bag Law

Last June, the Governor signed S.113, which will bring changes to many single-use items that most of us use every day. Unless there is an 11th-hour delay, the new law takes effect July 1. Our co-op doesn’t use plastic carryout bags or Styrofoam containers, so the most significant change will be a mandatory 10 cent charge for each large paper shopping bag. Reusable shopping bags are a good way to avoid the fee, but please wash them regularly, and during the state of emergency, you may be asked to bag your own groceries.

For each reusable shopping bag, basket, or box used in place of a paper bag, the Co-op will continue to donate five cents to the Montpelier Food Pantry through our Bag That Bag program. Last year, Co-op shoppers replaced a record-setting 226,857 paper bags while collectively raising $11,342.85 for the Food Pantry.

 Reminder about Low-Contact Shopping

Wondering how to stay safe while shopping?

  • Shop online and pick-up curbside through our Curbside Pick-Up and Lunch-To-Go programs
  • Shop with a list
  • Opt-in for eReciepts
  • Use contactless pay options at the register (Tap to Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay)