Greetings from the Co-op and thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s Annual Meeting. It was a shame we had to meet online again this year, but it was still a great opportunity to spend some time together, share information about the past year, and celebrate our cooperative successes.
The highlights included:
- Our keynote speaker Nicole Dehne from Vermont Organic Farmers educated us about the connection between agriculture and climate change and how we, as a cooperative community, can help. You may already know, but it bears repeating regularly: soil health is critical both for the quality of our food and the long-term sustainability of our planet. You can learn more about NOFA-VT’s Climate Hero program.
- We celebrated our incredible Co-op staff. This year’s Customer Service Award went to all Co-op employees in honor of their great work over this challenging past year. We also recognized 17 employees who reached milestone anniversaries of ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and even thirty years of service at the Co-op!
- We announced this year’s grants from our Hunger Mountain Cooperative Community Fund. We are proud to award $11,500 in grants to 10 deserving local organizations and businesses: Montpelier Parks and Trees Department, Cabot Community Association, Rural Vermont, Capstone Community Action, Good Samaritan Haven, Downstreet Housing and Community Development, Earthbeat Seeds, The Children’s Early Learning Space, Mad River Path, and Orchard Valley Waldorf School. Congratulations and thank you to this year’s recipients.
- Council President Dr. Eric Jacobson and I provided reports about the past year. It was a remarkable year, and I hope you share in our pride of how our co-op has continued to create positive impacts despite the many challenges we faced this year. You can view our recorded presentation of the report, and our 2021 Impact Report will be available shortly. The work continues and we are asking for your help with our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food and Fund Drive to raise $20,000 and 500 pounds of food to address food insecurity in central Vermont.
- We thanked our departing council members Rachel Andreyev, Deb Robinson, and Dr. Eric Jacobson for their service. Lauren Antler and Nick Sivret will be joining the council, and there is a vacancy that the council will fill with a one-year appointment. If you are interested, fill out the application for appointment, due November 18.
- And we announced that this year’s Cooperative Community Award goes to Peter Colman of A/R Market and Vermont Salumi. Pete has done important work for our local food system by founding and growing his sausage-making business and opening a grocery store in downtown Barre. Congratulations to Pete, and thank you!
A recording of the entire Annual Meeting is available. Many thanks to everyone who participated and helped make the meeting a success. We look forward to gathering in person next year.
See you in the aisles,
Kari Bradley, General Manager