We at the Just Food Co-op Board want to take a moment to recognize the extraordinary efforts by the Co-op’s staff and management to navigate the coronavirus crisis. These remarkable folks, who didn’t sign up to be on the front lines of a pandemic, have put in some very long, very stressful hours in the past few weeks, and they have done wonders. In a matter of days they effectively reinvented how the Co-op does business, exposing themselves to heightened personal risk because they saw the need to keep the Co-op up and running. We hope you’ll join us in expressing your gratitude to the staff (from a safe distance, of course) and reward their efforts with patience, understanding, and by continuing to patronize the store during these uncertain times.
I think that Just Food hasn’t become more important during the past few weeks, or its staff more dedicated; rather, this crisis has revealed how critical a role the Co-op has always played in reliably bringing safe, delicious food to the Northfield community. In times of plenty and of crisis, we count on Just Food.
I also want to offer a few brief updates on the Board’s work. The first of these is that we remain committed, as always, to allowing public access to our meetings, which will be held via videoconference until further notice. If you’d like to attend, please notify the GM in advance and we will make sure to get you connected. Our monthly “Coffee With the Board” sessions are also suspended, so if you need to get in touch with the Board directly you can contact us through our webpage. You might also run into Board members helping with Curbside pickup now and then!
Last but not least, we want to offer a quick note on the Co-op’s expansion. When the coronavirus struck, we were waiting for final confirmation of our loan from the USDA and all systems were go. But, like everything else in the world, that’s been put on hold until we know more about the scope and duration of this crisis. It appears that the bank loan is on a 30 day pause while banks figure out their new normal and how to assist businesses like ours. That means that for now we are taking this 30 days at a time, and we’ll have to wait and see how long a pause this will be. Expansion is still very much the plan, and we remain grateful for your investment in and enthusiasm for the project. We’ll keep you posted on the ‘when’.
In the meantime, on behalf of the Board, many thanks to all the staff for their hard work and dedication. Thanks, too, to the owners who keep us going and do so much to support each other and their community.
Michael Pursell, Board President