An Update and Thank You from Our General Manager
Dear VFC Owners and Shoppers,
Governor Evers is preparing to order Wisconsinites to stay in their homes starting this week according to his message this morning. Grocery Stores are still exempt with restrictions.
Thank you for your continued support and appreciation of your co-op during this difficult time. We are continuing to work daily to adjust to operating our store during a pandemic. I am extremely proud of our hard working staff and how they have stepped up to serve this community in our time of need.
Effective immediately, VFC management has instituted a temporary “hero pay” of an additional $2 per hour for hourly staff to recognize their hard work, positivity and courage as we work to meet our owners' evolving needs.
Clearly, we are all facing a new reality for the near term. We are working hard to be of service to our community while balancing the health and well-being of our staff. Rapid changes make it difficult to do so. We want to be a source for nourishment, support, calm and inspiration in the face of uncertainty and we hope that is what you are experiencing when you come to the Viroqua Food Co-op.
How can you help? If you are sick, stay home and have someone else do your shopping for you. Respect the 6-foot social distancing rules! Since we will stay open to serve you, this is the best way to protect each other.
If you have been in the store this week, you have certainly noticed the challenges we are facing in keeping the shelves stocked. We are working closely with all of our partners along the supply chain, especially local producers, and are confident that there is sufficient level of product available to meet the needs of consumers over the next few months. It is the distribution system that is not prepared for the extreme demand that stores are experiencing at the moment. Please make sure to buy only what you need to get by. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone, which is the heart of cooperation.
We've designated At Risk & Senior Shopping Hours between 9 - 10am daily. We ask that you allow our older (65+) and immunocompromised community members (and our essential services workers) the time and space they need to do their shopping as safely as possible during this time.
We have made a number of operational changes in the last few weeks. I want to share here again, and some more changes we are working on:
AT THE CHECKOUT
We are happy to continue bagging your groceries in our brown paper bags. If you bring in your own reusable bags, we ask that you bag your own groceries. If you are unable to do so, we will still be happy to assist you.
We will continue to accept cash but encourage you to either buy a Co-op gift card, which you can refill, or use a credit card for your purchases. The more we can limit contact with each other, the better!
IN THE AISLES
All bulk items are now repacked by staff. We will see limited products in this department. Look on the shelves where bulk herbs and spices used to be for repacked items. Deli service is changing rapidly, watch for updates. We are still making coffee drinks, breakfast sandwiches, grab n go items, and pre-made packaged meals. Some of our grocery items will be limited. Please be mindful of signs with limited quantities per purchase.
SPECIAL ORDERS, RETURNS & HOLDS
We are also no longer accepting returns on product. No special orders or holds on products.
ONLINE AND CURBSIDE PICK-UP
We are working to implement limited online ordering system with curbside pickup. Please stay tuned as we develop a program that can at least get basic needs products to you.
It is critical that we remain calm and cooperative. Your co-op Board of Directors and staff are here to support you. Each of us is ready to bring forth the highest good possible. I am sure that we will come out of this challenge better than we went into it. Please reach out with your concerns. We are truly stronger together.