I’ve been deeply impressed, and eternally grateful, for the hard work, dedication, and creative thinking that have gone into the Coop’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. We all owe the Coop leadership an enormous debt of gratitude.
Almost everybody, whether they’re feeling bored and restless, overworked and overwhelmed, or all of the above, is now spending more time at home. With the cinemas closed for the foreseeable future, it’s a good time to catch up on movies you’ve been planning to watch or revisit old favorites.
On March 20, 2020, a representative from the New York City Department of Education emailed Jason Weiner, the Membership Coordinator in charge of renting space for the Coop’s General Meetings. The Coop’s permit to hold its March General Meeting at John Jay High School was canceled, and the possibility of holding future meetings there or at any facility controlled by the Department of Education was in question. “Please do not call the school or Borough Office for further information, as this is a time of uncertainty,” the email concluded. “Be reassured that you will hear back from us in regards to next steps once schools have reopened.”
Hepworth Farms is the Park Slope Food Coop’s oldest—and one of its biggest—working partners. Located in Milton, New York in the Hudson Valley, the 550-acre farm, run by twin sisters Amy and Gail Hepworth, has worked with PSFC coordinators to plan, produce and deliver an incredibly diverse array of produce to our shelves. For four decades, the PSFC produce aisle—a place we might have taken for granted 6 weeks ago, but certainly not today—is bursting year-round with fresh, seasonal produce delivered from Hepworth Farms and other providers. In the case of Hepworth Farms, the relationship that has been forged over the years means that Amy, Gail and their staff can plan their planting seasons around what the Coop and its members need and want. At no time has this partnership been more valued, and more tested, than it is today.
Seven weeks ago, when lines were just beginning to snake up Union Street and items like toilet paper, frozen and canned goods started growing scarce, the Coop proactively instituted policies to ensure a safer shopping and working environment for its members. Sanitation safety protocols were posted at the entry check-in and on the Coop’s website and social media platforms. Signs mandated using hand sanitizer upon entering the Coop, wiping down one’s cart handles, and maintaining social distance. Shopping lanes displayed markers demonstrating the recommended six feet of separation. According to the Coop website, the number of shoppers allowed in the building would be limited to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders on social distancing. Restrictions would also apply to those waiting outside. In this fashion, the Coop prioritized the health and safety of our paid staff and shopping members over sales.
The Covid-19 crisis has put the Coop in a financial squeeze as sales have nosedived and labor costs have increased due to new safety procedures.
The details of that squeeze and the Coop’s strategy for dealing with it were explained on April 1 by Coop co-founder and general manager Joe Holtz in an interview with the Gazette. He also talked about supply lines, safety procedures and the pressure the pandemic is putting on the staff.
Update as of Thursday, March 25. This information will be updated as needed so please go to foodcoop.com for the latest information.
Shopping Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m
Members must be on the line outside by 7:00 p.m. at the latest. The Coop reserves the right to make the deadline for getting in line earlier than 7:00 p.m. if the wait time on the outside line exceeds the ability to get everyone in the Coop by closing.
Wait times can vary greatly depending upon the conditions in the Coop. Plan ahead by getting in line early. Line information will be updated on @ foodcoop on Instagram or Twitter.
The phrase “plant-rich diet” has been gaining traction in the past several years as we seek solutions to curb the greenhouse gas emissions from the food system that are contributing to global climate change.
The production of animal-based food, especially beef and dairy, contributes a huge portion of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – nearly 20%. If cows were their own country, they would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter after China and the U.S. (Project Drawdown).
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