As the summer comes to a close and we prepare for the many unknowns of the fall, I am heartened to share much good news from our Co-op: helping to feed our neighbors, new products in the store, and additional flexibility in our online store are the highlights. Read below for details. And, don’t forget, today is the last day to use your August 10% Owner Discount! If you can’t make it to the store before we close at 9pm, you have until midnight to place an order via the online store!
Community Engagement Manager
The Feed A Neighbor Fund has raised more than $8,000 since we rolled out the option to add a contribution to online orders at the end of May. Beginning this week, we are giving folks who shop inside the store the option to round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar or add any amount at checkout for the Feed A Neighbor Fund too. This money is used for financial and in-kind donations of food for neighbors in need. We partner with Small Things Matter, Sanctuary DMV, and Francis on the Hill on a weekly basis to provide food donations and space for packing and distribution. We also have been able to use the Fund to provide food for a few dozen individuals who reach out to us directly. If you’ve been to the store this month, you might have admired the cart full of healthy goodies generously donated by neighbors and shoppers for the Takoma Park Middle School Pantry. The Pantry supports families in the Takoma Park public schools. Non-perishables can be dropped off during store hours.
Everyday the store is looking more and more like the varied and fully-stocked market it was pre-pandemic. In case you missed it, the store is now open 9 am and 9 pm everyday! We’ve been working on filling in the holes on our shelves. While you will still see more pre-packaged produce, the produce department is now fully stocked with organic and local fruits and veggies. All our local food vendors and grab and go options are back in the refrigerated department. You’ll even see a few new additions, including cold brew from Dua Coffee and fresh-pressed juices from Farafina. And, perhaps most importantly, bagels are back! They are now packaged in 3-packs, but the same bagels we love are on the shelves again in the baked goods aisle. Even though many things are going back to the way things were inside the store, don’t worry – safety measures are still very much in place! And, we ask that you keep them in mind when choosing to stop inside the store. We are still limiting the number of customers in the store – and this number changes depending on how many staff are needed on the floor for stocking. A mask that covers your nose, mouth, and chin must be worn at all times. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other customers and staff. And, stick to one at a time in the bulk aisle. We are proud to offer a safe store to shop in person during this time, and we couldn’t do it without our thoughtful customers!
Many folks are choosing to place most or all of their orders online. We love being able to offer this completely contactless option to our customers. The window for picking up orders remains 9 am to 7 pm daily. We still ask that you come to the tent to let us know you’re ready to pick up you order and we’ll continue to bring your order out to a table for a contactless pick up. But, you might not see a staff person waiting in the tent at all times throughout the day. You can always ask the person working at the front door for help and they will request your order be brought out. Order number and last name are the most helpful for us to find your order quickly!New to the online store:
- Gift cards are now available for purchase! Choose $10, $20, or $50. Pick up the gift card with your groceries or ask for it to be left for someone else to pick up at Customer Service inside the store.
- Personalized add-ons are now possible! If you think we have an item in the store that you don’t see in the online store, list it in the notes section at checkout and we will try to add it for you! We will add the cost to your final invoice.
In March, when we learned that the store would be closed to the public and would be transitioning to fully online operations, everyone agreed that coming to work would not be the same for a long time. But, none of us could have imagined the kind of agility and dedication we would all need to muster to keep the store operational – one way or another (or another). … Read more.
New Montgomery County Farm to Food Bank ProgramOn August 11, the Montgomery County Farm to Food Bank program — a partnership between the Montgomery County Food Security Task Force, the Department of Health and Human Services, Manna Food Center, the Montgomery County Food Council, and the Montgomery County Office of Agriculture — announced an initial investment of over $200,000 in local farms to support a sustained and resilient local food supply and provide more nutritious and culturally diverse produce to residents who experience hunger. … Read more.
SNAP Into Some Fresh Produce | Toni TilevaEveryone should have access to fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Over the past 30 years, there have been efforts on the federal level to provide that access for people receiving food assistance. First, the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, serving women, infants, and children, was expanded to include seniors in 2001. Since then, many local organizations have worked hard to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients with extra funds to purchase fresh produce through programs such as Double-up Food Bucks, Fresh Bucks, Fresh Checks, and Market Match. … Read more.
Why Is the Co-op Out of Some of My Favorite Items? | Bob GibsonThe Covid-19 pandemic first hit the TPSS Food Co-op and other grocery stores like a force of nature. The wave of panic buying was similar to what happens ahead of a blizzard, as shelves emptied of toilet paper, bread, milk, and bottled water. The food distribution network designed for “just in time” deliveries to groceries based on normal consumer shopping was swamped with orders it could not fill. … Read more.
We need you! Co-op election season is here and we are looking for folks who are passionate about ethically-produced, healthy food and local business to join our Board of Representatives. You can learn all about the process here. The deadline to nominate yourself is October 15!