The pandemic has opened the eyes of the public to larger complexities of the supply chain and how readily we took its near-flawless performance for granted. VFC is a resilient business based on long-term relationships with our local farmers and food producers – but as you’ve seen, local farms are impacted by the pandemic too. The Co-op’s retail shelves support farmers and protect the strength of our local food economy. Fresh organic produce, local organic eggs and local/ regional grass-fed meats are in good supply here!VFC will continue with our safety protocols by following CDC and Vernon County Health Department guidelines. This national crisis brought a new level of respect and appreciation to grocery workers everywhere. Our own community saw VFC rise to the occasion; we support vulnerable folks by creating specific hours to reduce exposure; by launching a Curbside Pick-up program; by sanitizing thoroughly every day; and by going the second extra mile in customer service. We are diligent and vigorous in reducing risk for staff, customers, and the essential business we own together – the Co-op. So many of you have shared your appreciation with us. Thank you!
Co-op employees interact with hundreds of customers per day and during a pandemic, this can cause stress and anxiety. We recognize the risk of exposure in the workplace with “hero pay” to our staff – for 12 weeks now at the time of writing this. As a customer, wearing a face covering and practicing 6 feet of distancing with our employees are two small things you can do to support the essential workers here at the Co-op.
Please wear a face covering while shopping at the Viroqua Food Co+op. We understand that not everyone feels comfortable wearing a mask for a variety of complex reasons. VFC requires staff to wear a face covering while on shift. As a shopper, we hope you will too in order to minimize the spread of infection and to show solidarity with our employees. We have a supply of free cloth masks available at the Service Counter at the entrance, please ask a staff person if you would like one. Starting Sunday, June 14th, we will require that you wear a mask or covering during the first hour of business, 8-9am, reserved for shoppers who are 65+ years, those who are at-risk – or shopping on behalf of those who are at-risk with health issues. Please use our Co+op Curbside Program if you cannot wear a mask during the 8-9am hour.
It’s not over yet! Changes are ahead for the economy, and the way we shop will certainly be different. We all are forming new routines for life and work, and we know many in our community who face challenges created by the wake of COVID-19. VFC is here for you.
VFC will adapt to serve our community while maintaining safe practices. Using our resources carefully and with intention is at the forefront of our planning. You can count on us to source fresh healthy foods for your families and provide what you need to grow your garden. Watch the bulk and deli departments for changes as restrictions lift (or tighten). Be well, and be safe Viroqua!
-Jan Rasikas, General Manager