DEAR FELLOW MEMBERS, Welcome to the third issue of the digital Gazette. Going digital has long been of interest to the Editorial Team, and the changes wrought by Covid-19 led to a quick creation and launch. We saw an urgency to maintain the community ties that the Gazette endeavors to achieve, and erred on the side […]
By Christopher Cox
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.”
By Frank Haberle
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.
By Jiwon Choi
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.
Report to the Member/Owners, April 12, 2020, by Joe Holtz, General Coordinator, General Manager, and Co-Founder of the Coop
Thank you, our members, for your support of the Coop and the staff. Thank you, our staff, for your exhausting, tireless, dedicated and excellent work as we all adjust to life in this time of Covid-19.
By John Tucker
Obviously, as sad as it was for me to close RW after 19+ years in business, the timing has turned out to be fortuitous, to put it mildly. I miss my staff, and the warm buzz of our little kitchen, and especially the produce. RW was ever and always fixated on seasonality, and with spring coming I’m feeling very wistful about not seeing the ramp guy we worked with for many years, who would show up in early spring for about a month or a little more with ramps and fiddlehead ferns he’d hand harvested near the Delaware river where NY meets PA. The corn meal in the polenta dish was grown by a Hudson Valley farmer I worked with for 25 years, first at Savoy in SoHo, then at RW, and I miss that relationship, too. Now I’ll have to celebrate the seasons with shopping trips to the coop and the greenmarket, which is fine, but it feels a little lonesome not to celebrate the seasons with my customers. I look forward to getting together with friends again, and celebrating what the earth gives us on the plate and in the wine glass. That day can’t come too soon.
Join us for the NYC premiere of a new, 30-minute, documentary, The Best of Both Worlds: The Promise of Cohousing, to be shared via Zoom to Park Slope Food Coop members on Saturday morning, May 30, at 11 a.m. Representatives from two cohousing communities forming in Massachusetts and Connecticut will be on hand to answer your questions.
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