Member Shopping



The recent mask survey made me think of another aspect of the pandemic aftermath. What I am referring to are the “carrots,” or the limit on the number of members that are allowed to shop in the Coop at any given time. I am not certain whether there have been discussions around this topic. I am very much hoping that this rule will remain implemented indefinitely.

My husband and I both have full time jobs, and so our only opportunity to do a big shop is on the weekends. Although we would typically shop during less popular hours, like Friday or Saturday night, once in a while we would have to do our weekly shopping on Saturday or Sunday midday. It was dreadful, and stressful, as many members may recall. The amount of people, shopping carts, workers and stocking carts allowed not an inch of breathing room. There was nowhere to stand, no way to turn, not to mention pass someone, or reach for a food item. The checkout line went all the way down the freezer aisle, and between the members in line and the stockers it was virtually impossible to get something out of the freezer.

I used to feel like I was in an episode of “Survivor” trying to hunt for food for my family among many obstacles and competitors. Shopping on the weekend required skills like acrobatics, war tactics and deep sociology. The experience was truly gruesome. My quality of life drastically improved (despite COVID-19) when the Coop occupancy started being regulated and controlled during the pandemic. I do not mind standing in line outside, in the heat, in the rain or in the midst of winter, knowing that inside awaits a humane shopping experience. During Covid the occupancy restriction was protecting our physical health, but I believe that it should remain in place for the sake of our mental health. I am hopeful that many members agree with this sentiment.

Ula Bochinska