Your Co-op staff is busy behind the scenes developing an Online & Phone Order - Curbside Pick-up program that will roll out next week. We are performing the final test runs in the next five days. We may not have every bug worked out, but we want to bring you this service as quickly as we can. And we’ll make improvements as we go. It’s another way to get nourishing foods to your family and we’re proud to offer this service during these unprecedented times. Stay tuned to VFC’s Website for the launch date. Go team!
We are in week six of taking extra safety measures at the Co-op to help prevent the spread of CoVID-19 in our community. We feel the same fears and concerns as many of you do, but as essential workers we spend every day in the public sphere. It’s likely we have a ways to go. According to some experts, months perhaps. Staying engaged and energized with the extra precautions is getting harder, but the praise and appreciation we receive for our efforts is uplifting to staff here at VFC. Thank you!
Essential workers everywhere are operating in the same environments as before CoVID-19. We’re staying open to serve you and bring the essential products and services that you need, even during a pandemic outbreak. We don’t have the ability to move our grocery shelves or register stands further apart to accommodate 6 feet for every encounter, so the measures we take are to better protect each other. There may be brief times when folks pass each other or are in proximity while we continue to stock shelves and assist shoppers. VFC staff are wearing masks so that these brief encounters reduce risk.
Directional signs will be added to the grocery aisles in the next few days. Watch for graphics on the floor to indicate the one-way direction. We anticipate this will help to alleviate some congestion.
Wisconsin’s Governor Evers just issued a Stay-at-Home Order that is now in place until May 26th. So far, this is not a Quarantine or an Isolation Order, but a "recommendation of behaviors" that VFC takes seriously. We hope you do too.
What we do now:
- All Co-op staff wear a mask while on shift.
- We continue to expect diligent hand washing by all Co-op staff.
- VFC reduced hours for the public to accommodate sanitizing, stocking and other tasks both before and after the public hours. This removes many staff from the floor to make room for shoppers.
- We have a Limited Occupancy Plan to cap and monitor how many shoppers are in the store at any given time. We use this plan when overcrowding happens.
- The first hour from 9am to 10am is reserved for Seniors and those with at-risk health issues for better separation from the general public.
- We use sanitizer approved by the CDC. The entire store is sanitized at all "touch-points" every day before the store opens.
- We sanitize the register stands and credit card pin pad after every use.
- We sanitize carts and baskets after every use. We have hand sanitizer stations (when it's available). Reminder, we have several hand washing stations in the store.
- We installed clear plexiglass at our cash registers to help protect our staff and customers.
- We’ve mark the floors to show what six feet of separation looks like, and have signs reminding about 6 feet of separation.
- To help reduce exposure, we are limiting the number of products coming back into the store. During this time, we ask for no returns or exchanges unless the food is spoiled or expired.
- Drivers and other vendors no longer enter the store. All business is conducted outside at the loading dock.
- Ordering up on high demand items, such as non-perishable grocery items like beans, soups, pasta, etc. Though certain items are out-of-stock from our distributors, we will do our best to keep alternatives on the shelves.
- We no longer sell any self-serve product – salad bar, hot bar, bulk dispensed foods. Fresh produce items and the bulk water dispenser are exceptions in Governor Evers’ Order for grocery stores.
Our deepest thanks to the Co-op community for the kindness you show to our staff. We hope you can see in our eyes that we’re smiling behind our masks! Let’s keep supporting our local food producers and each other.
Jan Rasikas, General Manager