Co-op + Community = A Perfect Match
At the Co-op, we are all about community. After all, YOU are why we are here and providing healthy, organic food to the Rogue Valley.
As a cooperative enterprise, there are seven principles we follow. We use them as guidlines to put our values into practice. Principle 7, Concern for Community, affords us the opportunity to give back to local nonprofits that do so much good in this beautiful place we call home.
This year, we donated $24,040 to 32 area nonprofit organizations at our annual Community Grants Dinner. The Community Grant Program is the highlight of Principle 7 and the most visible way we give back to the community.
Each year, the Co-op Board of Directors set aside a small percentage of sales from the previous year to fund the program. There are four categories for grants: environmental stewardship, environmental/sustainability education, education programs focused on food, nutrition and health, and food or supportive services for people in need.
The maximum grant any nonprofit can receive is $1,500. The Grant Committee, which includes AFC board members, staff, and community members, reviewed all grants and allocated the funds.
Congratulations to the following nonprofits who received Community Grants this funding cycle.
Ashland Food Angels
Southern Oregon Education Service District Migrant Education Program
ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum
Klamath Bird Observatory
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley
Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA)
Ashland Parks Foundation, on behalf of North Mountain Park Nature Center
Natives of One Wind Indigenous Alliance ~ Red Earth Descendants
Children's Advocacy Center of Jackson County
Rogue River School District #35
Outdoor Discovery Program Parent Advisory Committee
Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon/KSKQ Community Radio
Rogue Community College Foundation
Ashland Middle School- Rain and Fire-Wise Garden
Civil Liberties Defense Center
Asante Ashland Community Hospital
Pacifica, A Garden in the Siskiyous
Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Southern Oregon Regional Environmental Education Leaders
Bellview Grange #759
White Oak Farm and Education Center
Lotus Rising Project
Ashland Middle School- School-Wide Composting Project
The Siskiyou Field Institute
Southern Oregon University Foundation
The Family Nurturing Center
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
The Rose Circle Mentoring Network
Lomakatsi Restoration Project
The next funding cycle for Ashland Food Co-op's Community Grant program will begin in February 2017.
More Co-op News
Forty six years ago, a group of families formed a buying club to access sustainable, local organic food as an alternative to modern industrial agriculture. This humble foundation of social and environmental responsibility started the Ashland Food Co-op and has shaped every decision we’ve ever made. It’s how, over four decades later, that a small buying club became a 30 million dollar, 17,500 square foot Certified Organic Retailer diverting 82% of their discards from the landfill.
By Emile Amarotico
In celebration of Sustainability Month in April, we asked our Sustainability Committee to share their favorite eco-friendly product.
We’ve teamed up with Rogue Valley Farm to School to offer three different camps this summer. Each week campers will dive into food production, preparation and exploration, with a mix of farm and kitchen experiences that delight the senses and inspire the soul. Join Rogue Valley Farm to School staff as they cultivate the ability to grow and cook delicious, healthy, seasonal meals. Monday - Wednesday at the Co-op Community Classroom, Thursday & Friday at the Farm at SOU.
By Ed Claassen, Board President
Your Board and Management Team invested a significant amount of time in 2014 developing a set of strategic initiatives that we believe are vital in shaping the future of our business and furthering our mission. We formed a Strategic Planning Steering Committee consisting of 3 Board members and 3 Management Team members to guide the implementation of these initiatives.
To further our sustainability efforts and to serve you better, we began offering Electronic Owner Coupons in January 2017 at the register.
No more forgetting to bring your owner coupons. No more waiting for your newsletter to arrive. Cashiers simply ask if you want to use your owner coupons when you check out.
As we enter our second year of Electronic Coupons we wanted to share a couple of friendly reminders and the 2018 month by month schedule.
The funding cycle for the 2018 Co-op Community Grants for nonprofit organizations is now open.
Every spring, for more than 20 years, we’ve been donating to area nonprofits through our Community Grant program. We are committed to creating healthy, sustainable communities and this program helps us fulfill that commitment by supporting the amazing work of local nonprofits. The Community Grant program is also the highlight of Cooperative Principle 7, Concern for Community, and is something we take to heart.
By Emile Amarotico
As we commence our lap around the sun in 2018, I wish to recognize the longstanding contributions of an amazing group of professionals. We are blessed with the dedication of eleven department managers expertly coordinating the daily flow of people, products and services that breath life into our Co-op!
Lynne (35+ years’ tenure) our Grocery Manager oversees keeping the aisles abundant with shelf stable products and coolers full of fresh perishables.
By Gwyneth Bowman, Vice President
After serving on the AFC Board for fourteen years my passion for the Co-op model has strengthened my commitment to the Cooperative Principles and Values. Of special importance is how we work together as a governing body with one voice. We are the ultimate decision-makers of our Co-op and hold a trusteeship for the benefit of our owners and community.
Like it or not, the cool weather has arrived. Whether you are heading out for a hike or enjoying a good book by the fire, the Co-op Deli has what you need to fuel your favorite fall activity. Stay warm with these comfort food recommendations from the Co-op Deli.
By Emile Amarotico
A recent visitor commented that our parking is totally inadequate to our business volume. What’s true is that we cannot create more parking due to space and municipal code constraints. Thus, the value of each available space is increasing over time. Assuming only half of Co-op shoppers use automobile parking, each space supports at least $200,000 in annual sales.
When not working on Board of Director efforts, my profession is an Interior and Building Designer. I own the Ashland Design Studio, located in the Historic Railroad District, and have a design services studio there - JulieO Design. I have been in the architectural design business my whole life; from crawling around my father's architectural studio to traveling around the world working on buildings large and small to now having created my own niche in the local building community. I took a few years off this path to own and run Tease Restaurant here in Ashland.
October is National Co-op Month, so what’s the big deal? Being a co-op is special. Yes, we know we are biased, but being a cooperative enterprise means we do business differently. We don’t have a single owner living on their private island drinking margaritas all day without a care in the world. We are owned and governed by you, our 10,000 members. We share the burden in hard times and share the benefits in the good times. We put people, the planet and our principles before profit.
By Emile Armarotico
This spring, National Co-op Grocers recognized Ashland Food Co-op as a Co+efficient Sustainability Star for our excellent sustainability efforts.
Our Sustainability Vision aims at being carbon neutral by 2030. We’ve taken a great stride toward this by installing a 39 kilowatt solar electric system on our rooftop with the capacity to generate approximately 7% of our electricity usage. The cost was partially offset by a $27,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant.
When we say local, we mean local. We source our local goods from within 200 miles of the store. By purchasing goods from local producers, we aim to create and maintain a healthy local economy and support family farms. What could be better than helping your community by buying local goods?
With all the local products that we offer, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But that’s exactly what we asked our staff to do. Here are some of their go-to local eats.