Coronavirus Preparedness at the Co-op

The Ashland Food Co-op acknowledges and shares our community’s concerns about protecting against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The safety and health of staff and customers is a top priority for the Co-op. We are taking proactive steps throughout our store to maintain a clean atmosphere to work and shop.

 

We have consolidated store changes below.
 

OHA's mask guidance:
• “Face covering” means a cloth, polypropylene, paper or other face covering that covers the nose and the mouth and that rests snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face.
• The following are not face coverings because they allow droplets to be released: a covering that incorporates a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhalation, mesh masks, lace masks or other coverings with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents.

Hours of operation:

  • 7-8am: priority shopping for vulnerable community members.
  • Store hours remain 7am-9pm.
  • The AFC Kitchen and hot bar closes at 8pm. You can now order ahead from the kitchen online.

Before entering the store:

  • All staff and shoppers in the store must wear a mask or face covering. Free temporary masks are available at the Customer Service Desk. 
  • Reusable grocery bags are allowed if you bag your own groceries.
  • Sanitizing wipes are available at all cart stations.
  • Please do not hang out or otherwise loiter in the Co-op courtyard or store.

In the store:

  • Aisles are one way -
    Please follow the "one way" stickers on the store floor to help maintain distance in aisles.
  • A no-touch hand sanitizer dispenser is located at the Information Desk and to the right of the exit doors.
  • As of April 20th, 2021 reusable bulk and produce bags are acceptable.
    • The $.02 charge on plastic produce bags will resume- effective April 22nd, 2021.
  • Bulk nut butters are being individually packaged and stored in the bulk cooler.
  • Please help protect cashiers and yourself by bagging your own groceries, if you are able.
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed to help protect cashiers and shoppers where social distancing isn't possible.
    Plexiglass barrier for cashiers and shoppers
  • You'll find social distancing reminder stickers at checkout stands and throughout the store. Thanks for helping to share your space.
    Social distance reminder

Co-op Kitchen:

  • No outside mugs or containers are permitted.
  • Indoor seating is currently closed.
  • The hot bar, salad bar and soup bar are no longer self-service; Co-op employees will help to box your meal to-go.
  • Self-serve coffee is no longer available.
  • The Co-op has increased the number of items available as “Grab & Go” selections.

Special orders & returns:

Special orders accepted

Special orders are being accepted. Product returns are permitted as of April 20th, 2021.

Classes, events and sales:

Cloth masks for staff

Led by board member Julie O'Dwyer, a group of Co-op friends worked hard over several days to make two cloth masks for each employee, in accordance with new recommendations from the CDC and OHA.
Thanks to these selfless, thoughtful community members for their contributions to everyone's safety:
Joe Dunbar - 200 masks at a discounted price; Erin McConnell - 45 masks and counting; Erica Thompson - 30 masks; board member Trine Ostergaard - 30 masks; Jenni Presley - 7 masks; Christine Begley - 30 masks.

More Co-op News

Masks Required for All In-Store Shoppers

To protect the health of Co-op staff and shoppers, all shoppers and other visitors on Ashland Food Co-op property must wear face coverings over mouth and nose except when dining in an approved area. As of November 11, 2020, face shields will not be permitted unless worn with a mask. 

From the Board: Co-ops Look in the Mirror

By Annie Hoy, Board Secretary and Chair of Owner Engagement Committee

Food Co-ops around the nation proudly display signage saying EVERYONE WELCOME. Or they use the slogan, “Anyone can shop. Anyone can join.” But are food co-ops, and other cooperative businesses, walking the walk? 

November/December GM Update: Overcoming Challenges

It’s probably already cliche to say “it’s been one heck of a year.” There have been challenges a-plenty for all of us, whether we’re working or shopping at the Co-op - but I’m so proud of how all of us have persevered. 

End of year wrap-up on Strategic Energy Management at the Co-op

Hi there. I hope this finds you well. It’s me, Nina Friedman, Strategic Energy Management (SEM) intern for the Ashland Food Co-op. The global and local crises have only devolved into further chaos since we last spoke. As we sit with the reality of coworkers, neighbors, and friends who’ve lost their homes and businesses to the recent fires, and thousands more across the nation losing their loved ones to COVID-19, I imagine many are feeling frozen and powerless to help those that are suffering.

SNAP in the Co-op Kitchen and Thanksgiving

Use your SNAP EBT benefits for all Co-op Kitchen items through November 20th, 2020!

Recognizing the difficulties in food preparation for families who lost their homes in the local wildfires, the State of Oregon has expanded SNAP benefits to be used for hot foods, like made-to-order and hot bar meals from the Co-op Kitchen, through November 20.

And starting on November 16, you can get an early taste of Thanksgiving as the Co-op Kitchen hot bar rolls out the full Thanksgiving spread. 

Black Lives Matter

We acknowledge that the Ashland Food Co-op has not had a culture where all employees and community members felt safe sharing their experiences of discrimination in our store. We apologize for this. We are on a learning journey. We have reached out for help, and are listening to our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) employees and owners who want to be part of the positive change we seek.

* * * * *

Vendors & businesses donating to relief efforts

From day one of the Almeda Fires, the Co-op team wanted to help the community. They reached out to vendors across the region and country to ask for their help with products, supplies and food to get to the fire victims.

And that help came through in big ways, getting nutritious food to displaced families, home supplies in high demand, and wellness and food for first responders and firefighters. Thank you for supporting these businesses as thanks for their help in our community's relief efforts.

October news at the Co-op

October is typically Co-op month, to highlight how differently cooperatives do business. But instead of talking about the 7 Cooperative Principles, or the ownership benefits of being part of the Co-op, we only need to look at the past four weeks to see what being a cooperative really means.

As part of the co-op family, you've helped the entire community immensely. 

Support Co-op staff to rebuild

The Ashland Food Co-op is dedicated to helping our community and our staff rebuild after the Almeda Fires in early September. 

For immediate support, the Co-op gave $1,000 to staff who lost their homes in the fires, as well as $250 for food and other household needs for anyone displaced due to a level 3 evacuation order.

We are thankful for the connection that so many of you have to our staff - you depend on us for recommendations, special requests, and quality customer service; and we depend on you for smiles, kindness, and interactions that brighten our day. 

Smoke Safety

There are some straight-forward and helpful ways to look out for your health when smoke is in the Rogue Valley. Here are a few suggestions:

Smoke Safety Tips

10 Things to Do in Ashland (When It's Smoky)

Ashland is a paradise for the outdoors - but sometimes Mother Nature has different plans for us.

When smoke from wildfires becomes an issue, there are still plenty of great activities to enjoy around our wonderful town. Check out this list for some inspiration!

Change for Good in September: Southern Oregon Land Conservancy

For the month of September, Ashland Food Co-op shoppers can round up at the register to support Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. Since 1973, SOLC has been working on multiple fronts to improve land quality and conservation for humans and nature alike. Check out some of the projects below that SOLC has been working on recently. And mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24, as SOLC hosts an Open Lands Day hike and tour on the Rogue River Preserve.

Chatting about community giving with JPR's "Jefferson Exchange"

Recently, Julie O'Dwyer, Ashland Food Co-op board vice-president, joined a panel of guests on Jefferson Public Radio's "Jefferson Exchange" to discuss how the pandemic has led to an even greater need for community giving and support of local non-profits.

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