There is so much to celebrate in October! National Co-op Month, Non-GMO Month, and Fair Trade Month are all this month and your co-op is abuzz with celebration. Here are six easy ways to jump in on the fun and support your co-op…
1.Shop the Co-ops in your Co-op. It’s co-op inception- there are co-ops inside your co-op! Many of the foods you know and love are also celebrating National Co-op month, because they are co-ops themselves. National and International co-ops include Equal Exchange, Once Again Nut Butter, Organic Valley, Cabot, and Alter Eco. However, there are local co-ops right here in WNY as well! These include Eden Valley Growers, Gro-operative and BreadHive Bakery. Next time you are in the store, look for the signs pointing you to the great co-ops that are helping to grow community. Learn More.
2.Look for the Butterfly. It’s time we say “heck no” to GMOs! Look around the store for the NON GMO Project butterfly label on lots of products. These products have been officially verified as being GMO free. Recent legislation states that products do not need to clearly label GMOs however, the products bearing the butterfly are going above and beyond to make sure consumers are informed.
3.Drink Coffee & Eat Chocolate. Equal Exchange coffee, chocolate, bananas and nuts are some of the many examples around the Co-op of Fair Trade products. When you shop Fair Trade brands you are supporting companies that believe in sustainability, fair pay, and environmentalism. Learn More.
4. Vote! Owners have received their Annual Reports as well as their Board Election Ballots. Exercise your democratic right as a Co-op Owner and cast your vote for our Board of Directors. You will also have an opportunity to meet your Board Candidates at the Co-op and ask them questions.*
5. Vote Again! Patronage Dividends will be distributed soon and each year owners have the opportunity to donate their dividend to a local non-profit organization. We need your help determining which of the three deserving non-profits will be the recipient of patronage dividends this year. The three non-profits for 2016 are the Lexington Co-operative Community Fund, Field & Fork Network, and Massachusetts Ave Project (MAP). Click here to vote now or get a ballot at registers. Deadline to vote is October 10.
6. Meet & Eat. Owners have the opportunity to attend the Annual Meeting. Here you will have the opportunity to meet some of the friends you own a grocery store with, learn more about the past year at the Co-op and of course partake in a delicious Oktoberfest meal prepared by the best, Lexi’s Kitchen! The Annual Meeting and Dinner will take place at Nardin Academy on October 26 from 6-8:30pm. Please RSVP if you plan on eating with us!
New in 2016! “Let’s Talk About Price” Join in on a conversation about price, affordability, and selection at your co-op!
Want to help out at the Annual Meeting, we are looking for volunteers! If you are interested email Joann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other exciting happenings at your co-op this month include:
Crocktoberfest.Simple warm meals all made in a crockpot! Delicious demos will take place throughout the month but you can follow along on the Official Crocktoberfest Blog for all the recipes. Prost!
Apple Day! New York is second in apple production in the United States. Celebrate the vibrant colors and many flavors of apples on October 22 from 11am-3pm. Come and taste apples, apple pie, apple squash bake, and so much more! Members of the Dan Tower Family will be on hand to answer questions about growing apples! The Co-op is proud to carry local apples from Dan Tower Farm in Youngstown, NY.
*Meet the Board of Directors Candidates at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, October 8 from 9am-noon, At the Co-op October 13 & 17 from 5-7pm and October 23 from 11am-12:30pm.