A Word from the GM

- Gary Taylor

Dear Cooperators,


I am dedicating this newsletter to our 3rd End which states "The Co-op is an educational resource on food issues."  This End covers a multitude of topics ranging from farming practices to cooking classes to food security and affordability issues. At this point in time the greatest issue weighing on my mind is the latter. 


We all know that food security has always been an issue worldwide with many thousands not able to secure enough food to fill their needs. We here at the Co-op have done our best to help ease this problem locally with our Food For All (FFA) program, our Basics program, and, before Covid, free classes for cooking on a budget. Stay tuned, we are making plans to resume budget cooking classes in the future. Information on FFA and our Bascis program are available in the store.


At this time, with this economy, these type of programs are becoming ever more important. As inflation continues to hit us hard in the form of more expensive fuel, food, and housing, many thousands are already suffering and many more will soon be in danger of going without some of these basic needs. Many are already having to choose between buying gas for their car to get to work and paying their rent. They are having to choose whether to buy their medications or put food on the table. Wages have increased more in the past couple of years than in the past decade and are still not enough to cover expenses as inflation continues to far outpace salaries. Pressure on food banks increased greatly when the pandemic hit and continues to build as inflation rises, even though operations that closed due to COVID have rebounded. This is due to timing of the Russia-Ukraine war that is holding up the export of a huge amount of grain, and global warming that is wreaking havoc with droughts and water shortages that greatly reduce the quantities of fresh produce available. 


Here at the Co-op we noticed that the total discount awarded to our FFA shoppers has doubled in the past 2 years. We raise money to pay for the program by dedicating one Round Up month to FFA as well as our plant sale fundraiser. It is important to note that the fundraisers have never covered the entire cost for FFA, and the remainder was always absorbed by the Co-op. Due to this increase in expense and because feeding people is what we do, we made the decision to devote two Round Up months to FFA, instead of just one as we have in the past. This change will still not cover the annual costs for the entire program but it should get us a lot closer.


As we move forward we may need to make additional adjustments to fulfill our mission with regards to our 3rd end. Additional fundraisers may pop up. The last thing we want to do is reduce the program, so we need to work together to see to it that we can continue to meet the needs of the program. I would like for all owners that have the ability to help others to remember that times are getting more and more difficult for large segments of our population and urge you to support local food banks and soup kitchens along with discount stores such as Salt and Light. It is now even more imperative that we support our local businesses and farmers. The rising cost of labor, fertilizer, and fuel are affecting them greatly as they try to keep their farms open and supply food for our community. We cannot let them down!


If you would like more information about inflation and what Co-ops are doing about it please feel free to attend the August Board Meeting virtually at 6:15pm on August 15th. We will have a guest speaker, Tony Alongi from National Cooperative of Grocers (NCG), on hand for a presentation. You can join by following the link below:


Google Meet Link: meet.google.com/qao-buxz-ixc


Thank you for reading and as always thank you for supporting your local Co-op and our community!