Temp workers were members

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Let’s just start here:

All Temp workers were members. Not everyone knew this information. A lot of Coop members would come in to shop during the height of the pandemic and complain about “us.” As if we were outsiders, who somehow infiltrated the Coop, and changed it into something else, something different. In actuality, we were the members who lost our jobs, lost our source of income, lost our benefits (if we had any); who reached out in an uncertain time during the bleakest time in our immediate history—a world-wide pandemic—and helped the Coop to survive. We came in and worked eight-hour shifts, killing our bodies, but also happy to have the work so we could pay some bills and put food on our tables. We bonded with each other, laughed, shared our struggles, and shared our love for food, music, art—whatever we were interested in—with each other. The Coop was quieter than before the pandemic, the world was quieter. That meant that we could see each other in a new and different way. We met people that we didn’t meet when the world was busy with its business. I will always look back at this time, and think about the people I met and worked with, with the utmost respect and fondness, as we all move into the future. I know some I will see again and some I probably won’t. It’s just the way the world works. I think some of my lasting thoughts are these: Is a community built on great food at cheap prices enough? Or do we need and want something more than that? The Coop brings us together. I guess it’s up to each one of us as members to decide what we value in a “community.”


Lisa Martin
(former Temp worker)