Planning for Summer... and Smoke
By Emile Amarotico, General Manager
If we are lucky, we’ll only have another seven week smoke intrusion this summer. If we are not, we could be the next Paradise. In less than 13 hours, last November’s Camp Fire wiped out nearly 19,000 structures and more than 80 lives. With community help, we were able to raise over $14,000 to support Chico Natural Foods Co-op’s efforts to feed some of the nearly 20,000 displaced Paradise residents.
If we are really lucky, we’ll have a relatively smoke free summer with no loss of lives or structures. But at some point, a summer 2018 redux seems inevitable. Based on our experience last summer, with smoke-induced curtailments in local and visitor traffic alike, we need to be more responsive in promoting relevant services. Maybe you caught our sales flyer caption last August proclaiming “Summer Grillin’ Savings”? While this is a longstanding summer promotion, it was way out of sync with anyone’s interest at the time!
This March we were much more responsive to community needs during a days-long natural gas outage. We doubled down on our Deli food service despite Herculean efforts required to prepare food and maintain sanitary standards without gas appliances. We saw a sharp rise in Deli patronage while serving many of our community who were unable to prepare hot foods at home.
In the event of future smoke events we’ll strive to provide a clean-air environment for our owners, staff, and community, while continuing to provide access to relevant products and services. We’ll do all that we can to educate and share resources to support our community during a smoke event. We are committed to developing and providing alternative means of access to our products and services for those at risk during a smoke event. As an integral community member, Ashland Food Co-op will continue to refine and enhance our community support during a smoke incident or any other natural or man-made disaster.
More Co-op News
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.
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.
Those who are unable or choose not to wear a mask are welcome to use our recently launched eGrocery online shopping and curbside pickup service as an alternative to shopping in-store.
The sixth cooperative principle, "Concern for Community," has become even more important since the pandemic began and economies, locally and globally, started to constrict. To address this, the Board of Directors agreed in April to release 100% of patronage dividends and designate Ashland Emergency Food Bank as a donation option for those dividends - resulting in over $20,000 in donations. And with the early launch of Change for Good register round-up, AEFB was a natural choice to receive round-up donations.
I wrote at the beginning of the year that the Co-op model of business was a blueprint for the future. The concept of “planet, principles and people before profit” is a guide for how cooperatives can run a successful business that puts more back into the community and local economy than national chains, while using less resources and creating less waste.
2020 Co-op Election Results
Ashland Food Co-op owners voted for three open seats on the Board of Directors, and for ten non-profit organizations for the Change for Good register round-up program.
Click a name below to read more about that Co-op Board member.
Dear Ashland Food Cooperative Family and Community,
AFC and AEFB Press Release - Local Strength!
Release Date: 5-26-2020
In April, the Ashland Food Co-op Board of Directors announced to the community that the Co-op would be returning 100% of the 2019 Patronage Dividend to its owners. The 100% Patronage Dividend return to Co-op owners converted to over $628,000.
The Co-op Board felt in this time of great need it was not the right time for the Co-op to put away funds for the future, but rather to support owners fully so they may have more strength to weather these stormy times.
Thanks to the many agile and adaptable experts in the Rogue Valley, the much-loved Free Monday Night Lectures live on - even if everything is moving online.
While we miss seeing community members with a joy of learning showing up at the Co-op Classroom, we hope these recordings teach and inspire you.
By Nina Friedman, Strategic Energy Management intern
The Ashland Food Co-op has played a critical role supporting our community for nearly 50 years by providing healthy food and a safe place to shop. With the recent COVID-19 shutdown, this support has been even more important and has stretched our organization in ways that we could not have anticipated. We have endeavored to address the needs of both our staff and our customers, hopefully in the most cooperative manner.
As an owner of the Ashland Food Co-op, you are an important decision-maker in the leadership of the Co-op! A vital part of your ownership is voting for the Board of Directors.
On the ballot: Vote for Board Candidates and Change for Good Organizations
Vote for Board Candidates
This year, four candidates are nominated for three Board positions: each elected Board director will serve a three-year term. The candidates are Ed Claassen, Mark Gibbs, Carolina Livi and Julie O'Dywer.
Mark the evening of May 13 at 5pm on your calendar and join us for the 2020 AFC Annual Meeting. We’ll host the meeting online using Google Hangouts. Please click here to join the meeting, or call in at this number:
PIN: 719 680 293 2056#
The Co-op has always had a focus on supporting the strong local scene of growers and producers - and in these times, it's even more important. Here is just a small selection of some of our favorites from the area. Help support local businesses next time you stop by the Co-op by picking one of these products.