Dear Co-op member-owners and friends,
In case you haven’t gotten word yet, the TPSS Co-op has re-opened its doors! In addition to online shopping and Co-op to Go-Op, our storefront is now open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Inside the store you will see the same products you have always looked for at the Co-op, plus these new measures to keep you and our staff as safe as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Limited number of shoppers in store – and only one shopper per household
- Face coverings required for entry
- Customer service available via phone at 301.891.2667
- Bulk department open, but gloves are required to enter
- Wellness department converted to over-the-counter style shopping
- Cashiers protected by Plexiglas sneeze guards
- Customers must do all their own bagging
- Bathrooms closed
Outside the store, you will see that our auto parking is now on the fire station (west) side of the Co-op. The Sycamore Ave. parking lot (on the east side) is now devoted to online order pickup, Co-op To Go-Op pickup, and lineup of customers who are waiting to enter the store.
As wonderful as it is to be able to shop inside the store again, online ordering and Co-op to Go-Op are still great ways to shop at the Co-op, and very helpful to us — because we must limit the number of people who come into the store at any given time. Remember that if you have special requests for an online order, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org we will do our best to honor them.
I am also proud that the Co-op continues to be a community service leader. Did you know that we will soon be the fourth grocery store in the entire state of Maryland to offer online grocery shopping using SNAP benefits? While we await one last USDA approval, we already allow people to place orders through the online system and pay with SNAP when they pick up their orders. We are also proud to partner with Crossroads Community Food Network’s “Fresh Checks” program that doubles the value of SNAP benefits for produce purchases. We are thankful to our General Manager and many in our community who helped to bring about the state and federal policy changes necessary to offer these new benefits.
Finally, I am grateful for the collaboration by Co-op management and staff with local organizations working to ensure food access for families who are now facing great economic hardship. Small Things Matter, an all-volunteer Takoma Park organization, provides fresh food to over 700 families in our community. Our store serves as a hub for donations by large grocery stores, a distribution site for families, and a source of at-cost resources. STM is the embodiment of community spirit and service. It was started by a middle-school student, and many of the volunteers are teens. All donations go straight to purchasing food and pantry supplies for needy families. We are very proud to be working with Small Things Matter, and hope you will join us in supporting them!
This has been one of the most challenging times any of us has faced, and we couldn’t be more proud of how our community has responded to the pandemic and the inspiring Black Lives Matter movement. We are also proud that the Co-op that has risen to the occasion by prioritizing the safety of our staff and shoppers while continuing to provide healthy, responsibly produced food.
Finally, none of this would have been possible without the patronage and support of our member-owners and shoppers. We are most appreciative and want to thank each and every one of you who have continued to shop at the Co-op and help us through these challenging times.
Diane Curran, President
TPSS Co-op Board of Representatives