There are so many changes starting the first of our fiscal year, (July 1, 2019) that we want to announce another one! 

You have probably already heard that we are going bagless starting on July 1, 2019. This means that we will no longer be giving away paper bags at the checkout lanes. So what does this mean for Planet Patches? 

Planet Patches

For those of you who don’t know, for approximately 15 years we have been encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags when they shop at the Co-op. For each bag that a shopper uses in the checkout lane, they are given one Planet Patch per reusable bag. These patches could be saved up and are worth $.05 each. Once a shopper saves up 20 planet patches they can redeem them for $1.00 off their groceries. Alternatively, there is a drop box at the customer service desk where shoppers can donate their $.05 and Just Food Co-op tallies up those tabs and makes a charitable donation with those funds. 

Your charitable contributions have gone to support many community partners over the years and since 2013 the Planet Patch funds have been donated to the Community Action Center of Northfield. Between Planet Patches, Just Change, and other contributions this community has donated $33,000 to the CAC just in the last 6 years! That’s hundreds of thousands of bags! 

We still want to have a way to keep our contribution program running, as well as reward people for continuing to remember their reusable bags. Enter our Community Coin Program. Starting July 1, 2019 every time you remember your reusable bags when you shop you will be given 1 Community Coin. During each month we will choose two community partners. Each Community Coin is worth 1 vote for the community partner of your choice. Just drop that Community Coin the box at the Customer Service Desk that represents your chosen community partner and watch the votes pile up.  The community partner who receives the most votes will receive a $200 contribution and the one who receives fewer votes will receive a $100 contribution from Just Food Co-op on behalf of our community. 

So what happens with the Planet Patches you’ve been saving over the past several years? Don’t worry! You can bring them in anytime during the month of July to redeem them. We will honor any amount you have left to the nearest dollar. Or, if you only have a few floating around in your car, you can simply bring those in and place them in the donation box. But, if you’ve been saving them up, July is your last chance to bring them in to redeem them for dollars off your groceries. And, yes, if you have 39, we will honor them for $2. But after July 31st they will no longer be in circulation, so plan to bring them in for your $1 off or donate them to the CAC during your next shop. 

Community Coin

Remember that, briefly, the Community Coin and Planet Patches will be running simultaneously. No more Planet Patches will be given out during the month of July, but we will continue to accept them in order to give people time to either redeem them or donate them. On August 1, 2019 only Community Coin will be in use. (Please compost or recycle all Planet Patches if you are reading this after 7/31/2019.)

Thank you to everyone who has donated their Planet Patches over the years! With your help we have donated thousands of dollars to the Community Action Center in Northfield, MN, contributed to dozens of other charitable organizations, and reused our bags hundreds of thousands of times. 

If you would like to be a Community Partner for a chance to receive a Community Donation of either $200 or $100 you can find the application here.


TL;DR Vital Facts: 

1 – We are switching from Planet Patches to Community Coin. 

2 – You have until July 31, 2019 to return any unused Planet Patches to Just Food Co-op. 

3 – The Community Coins will be used to vote for two Community Partners each month.

4 – If you would like to be a community partner here is the link.