Coronavirus Preparedness at the Co-op
Update as of August 13th, 2021: Oregon Health Authority requires face coverings to be worn in all public indoor settings in response to a large jump in COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the Delta variant of the virus. We require face coverings to be worn by all shoppers, employees, vendors, contractors, and other visitors. Designated Priority Shopping hour resumes for vulnerable community members from 7:00 am to 8:00 am daily. Our eGrocery curbside pick-up program resumes on our website on Friday for pick-up on Monday, August 16th with a $10 service charge. Due to labor shortages, please reserve this program for high-risk shoppers.
Update as of July 28th, 2021: Oregon Health Authority recommends universal public mask use for all public indoor settings. In response to a large jump in cases due to the Delta variant. This recommendation includes fully vaccinated people.
Update as of June 30th, 2021: Face coverings and social distancing are no longer required for Co-op shoppers. Employees will continue to adhere to OSHA standards that require face coverings and social distancing. Thank you for your support and patience throughout!
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.
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.
- You'll find social distancing reminder stickers at checkout stands and throughout the store. Thanks for helping to share your space.
- 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 are being accepted. Product returns are permitted as of April 20th, 2021.
Classes, events and sales:
- Free Monday Night Lectures are being held online most weeks. Check the Events page for more coming up.
Links to information providing illness prevention steps and facts about COVID-19 can be found below.
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
Visit the Emerald Hills Ranch and learn more about this fourth generation ranching family that the Ashland Food Co-op is so proud to partner with for more than twenty years.
Katie Falkenberg's photography and filmmaking has taken her all over the world, and lucky for us - she's been calling the Rogue Valley home for a couple years now. Exquisitely and harmoniously capturing the world around her, she is documenting not only through the lens but also through her peaceful and loving spirit. Katie reached out to us in hopes of collaborating after falling in love with the co-op soon after moving here.
March's Change for Good Recipient is
a division of Ashland Parks and Recreation, that encompasses demonstration gardens, a nature playground, and approximately 14 acres of Natural Area that is managed for wildlife preservation and public education.
February's Change for Good Recipient is
Since 2005, Rogue Valley Mentoring (formerly the Rose Circle Mentoring Network) has trained over 500 adults who have mentored over 2,000 youth in our valley; letting young people know that they are not alone. A caring and compassionate ear shows them that they matter, and they they are experts of their own experience.
As coronavirus cases increase in Jackson County, the Co-op is taking extra precautions to protect shoppers and employees.
To ensure social distancing in the store, the number of persons allowed in the store at once has been reduced to 50% capacity. Understandably, this may lead to a short wait outside of the store, but please be assured the line moves quickly.
In order to keep the wait as short as possible, here are a few steps you can take to help out:
By Allan Weisbard L.C.S.W.
Since 1963, autumn has been a difficult time for me. Two months shy of my 13th birthday I lost my younger brother to cancer, then shortly afterwards, President Kennedy was assassinated.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.