Change for Community Update

Selling groceries might keep our store in business, but giving back to our community is at the heart of what we do. In May 2018 we launched a new giving program to reap big reward for local non-profits, Change for Community. It’s been a great success and due to your generosity—rounding up your purchase total, donating pocket change and reusable bag credits (beans)—we raised $7,359 in donations! There’s even more potential to make a positive impact in 2019 and beyond as we build a bigger new store!

A slight change in 2019 is that we’ll be merging the Beans for Bags program into Change for Community in order to simplify communications and bookkeeping. Nothing besides the name will change about our popular reusable bag incentive program. You’ll still get a bean worth a nickel for every reusable bag that you can donate to a local non-profit. Change for Community becomes a community giving and reusable bag incentive program.

Fun fact: Beans for Bags has incentivized the use of 144,045 reusable bags and supported 35 different community organizations with $7401 in donations since May 2015. The co-op will continue to incentivize reusable bags and raise funds for community with Change for Community.

Based on 2018’s success, and what we’ve learned from other food co-ops doing similar programs, we think Change for Community is a powerful tool for doing good. With your help, we can be the positive change for community!

We welcome your feedback and questions about this program or anything else happening at your co-op! Contact Marketing Director Zetty Nemlowill zetty@astoria.coop

June Change for Community Recipient

We’re super excited to be raising funds for the Clatsop Community Action Regional Food Bank in the month of June!

The food bank’s mission is to eliminate hunger and provide food to those who need it. Staff and volunteers distribute about 1.5 million pounds of food throughout the county per year. Almost half of that is fresh food! It was the first food bank in Oregon to do a fresh mobile produce pantry.

Let’s raise funds for this awesome organization! Round up your purchase total, bring a bag and donate your bean, or share your pocket change.

Selling groceries might keep our store in business, but giving back to our community is at the heart of what we do. With your help we can be the positive change for community!

Change for Community

Selling groceries might keep our store in business, but giving back to our community is at the heart of what we do. We think this new program will reap big rewards for community nonprofits. There are three ways for you to help: round up your purchase total to the nearest dollar, bring a bag and donate your bean, or share your pocket change.

Our May Change for Community Recipient:
Astoria Parks Foundation provides scholarships for local individuals and families to access health and wellness opportunities through the Astoria Parks & Recreation Department.

Last year the foundation raised $30,000 through several events including Run on the River and awarded nearly 1000 scholarships. Your co-op has been a proud sponsor of the foundation’s events. This summer we’re sponsoring one of the foundation’s Parks After Dark movies: Beetlejuice on June 16.

Let’s raise funds for this awesome organization!  To find out other ways to participate or donate please visit astoriaparksfoundation.com.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

Iowa City, IA – In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in communities throughout Texas and Louisiana, National Co+op Grocers (NCG) joins co-ops and other businesses nationwide in providing contributions to assist in relief and recovery efforts.

On behalf of its member co-ops, NCG is donating a truckload of essential supplies from UNFI (United Natural Foods) to the Houston Food Bank, Houston’s largest food donation foundation.

In addition, NCG has chosen an organization serving at-risk women and children in Beaumont, Texas, which is among the hardest hit communities, as the recipient of its annual holiday donation on co-ops’ behalf. “This is in recognition that those with the least in times of crisis are not just dealing with a lost way of life, they are often fighting for their lives,” said Robynn Shrader, Chief Executive Officer, NCG.

“As cooperators, we have chosen to use our collective strength to assist those affected by the storm,” Shrader added. “We extend our deepest sympathy to those affected by this devastation.”

The following co-ops, and a growing number of NCG co-ops nationwide, have pledged to continue offering support to impacted communities in the months to come by collecting cash donations:

  • Hunger Mountain Co-op (Montpelier, VT)
  • Oryana Community Co-op (Traverse City, MI)
  • Outpost Natural Foods Co-op (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Wheatsfield Cooperative (Ames, IA)
  • Wheatsville Co-op (Austin, TX)

Donations will be earmarked for organizations such as Feeding Texas and the Cooperative Development Fund, which assists hurricane damaged cooperative businesses of all kinds rebuild and resume operations through its Disaster Recovery Fund.

As the changing climate continues to present us with unprecedented weather events that are taking a cumulative toll on entire regions, cities and human lives, NCG stands firm in its commitment to prioritize efforts to help reverse global warming through innovative projects like the Climate Collaborative and Co+op Forest.

About NCG

National Co+op Grocers (NCG), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCG helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power, and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 146 member and associate co-ops operate more than 200 storefronts in 38 states with combined annual sales of over $2.1 billion. NCG is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a Certified B Corporation. Find a map of NCG member and associate co-ops. To learn more about co-ops, visit www.strongertogether.coop.

Parade Route and the Co-op

Folks, expect vehicle access to the store to be closed during the Regatta parade on Saturday August 12. Exchange Street in front of the co-op will be closed around 10:30 and will re-open after the parade gets over (which may be around 1-2 p.m.).

More from Astoria 911 Dispatch:

Astoria Regatta Grand Land Parade / Expect traffic disruptions

The Astoria Police Department is issuing a reminder that the Astoria Regatta Association Grand Land Parade begins at 12:00 P.M. on Saturday August 12th 2017.  Traffic will be disrupted through the downtown core beginning at about 8:00 A.M.

At 8:30 A.M. Exchange Street will be closed between 23rd and 16th.  The Hospital, its urgent care and the Park Medical Building will be accessible from Marine Drive at 20th, 21st, and 23rd.

Exchange and Duane between 17th and 9th will have no on street parking on Saturday until the parade ends.  The no parking areas will be signed and any vehicle parked at those locations will be removed by a tow truck.  The owner will be responsible for the tow fees.

At about 10:30 a.m. all streets that travel north or south (the number streets) will be closed between Commercial Street and Franklin Street between 17th and 8th. These traffic disruptions will last until the parade had ended and the street has been swept.

8th street will remain open during the entire event. 16th street will remain open until 11:30 A.M.

Highway 30 will remain open but may experience delays due to pedestrian traffic and floats moving to the disband area. Traffic needing to get to or from the South slope of Astoria should use unaffected, alternate routes.

Deputy Chief Eric Halverson said, “We appreciate the community’s patience in dealing with the traffic disruptions that occur during the parade each year. Our goal is to limit the disruptions for the motoring public, while providing a safe route for people to view the procession.”

We’re sponsoring a movie!

Astoria Parks Foundation Parks After Dark

Join the Astoria Parks Foundation and sponsor Astoria Co-op for the kick-off of the Parks After Dark summer movie series to raise money for Astoria Parks and Recreation Scholarships.

Saturday, June 24th we will be showing the 80’s classic Top Gun.  Movie will begin at dusk at McClure Park, located at 8th and Grand Avenue. Food and beverages (including Co-op salad) available for purchase.

Beans for Bags

IMG_5956When you bring a reusable shopping bag to the Co-op you’re doing something really cool not only for our entire planet but for our community as well.  The Co-op takes the money (a nickel) that we would have spent on a bag and gives it to a local non-profit.  A token representing the nickel is a bean.  A cashier will give you a bean for each reusable bag you use and you get to drop it in a jar of your choice representing one of three local charities.

We totally have really nice paper bags for anyone to use, but Beans for Bags offers a fun incentive for reusable bags that fund some important programs.

Recipients January-March 2017:

Lower Columbia Q Center’s mission is to be a safe and welcoming resource and support service to the LGBT community, friends, families, and allies of the lower Columbia Region.

Columbia Senior Diners is a nonprofit struggling to make ends meet.  It provides low cost lunches at the Astoria Senior Center.  Seniors who cannot join others in the dining area can have meals delivered to their homes.

Astoria High School Orchestra is planning an educational trip to Disneyland.  The student musicians would have an opportunity to play their instruments as an ensemble for critique and add the music in the final performance to animation.

Click here for an application to become a Beans for Bags recipient.  The Co-op Board of Directors will select new recipients for the final quarter of this year.

Local Organic Cranberry Juice Tasting at the Co-op

Photo by Giles ClementPhoto by Giles Clement

The farmers of Washington state’s first and only certified organic cranberry farm will be sampling out their juice at the Co-op on the first day of our Spring 2015 Owner Appreciation Week.  Stop by the store and try some on Sunday May 10 at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Starvation Alley encompasses a total of 10 acres in Seaview Washington and Long Beach. Jared Oakes and Jessika Tantisook took over the farm where Oakes grew up in 2010. They wanted to farm cranberries organically, but were told by farmers and other experts that it wasn’t possible. They explored that assumption and eventually gained organic certification for their farm.
“It is hard, especially in the beginning because we didn’t have any support. If you want to learn to grow organic apples you could probably find enough stuff on line, call universities, or get advice from professionals. That wasn’t available for cranberries. As new farmers transitioning to organic we lost a lot of production for the first two years, hence the value added products,” Tantisook said.

cranberry juice

Starvation Alley created a brand of juice that attracted the attention of the emerging craft cocktail industry. The farmers sell their product to 70 accounts, mostly bars in Portland and Seattle. They sell their juice and cranberries at farmers markets and locally at Astoria Co-op. The juice is raw, unsweetened and undiluted cranberries. It is not heated or pasteurized which Tantisook says enhances the health benefits and taste.

Starvation Alley Farms is building its research database with a goal of spreading sustainable farming and educating consumers about the food system and the importance of supporting local farmers. They are working with two other cranberry growers on the Long Beach Peninsula to transition to organic certification. There are currently only about 300 acres of organic cranberry farms in the U.S. out of 39,000 total acres of producing cranberry bogs.

Spring Farm to Fork Dinner

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The Chef. Marco Davis!

Thanks so much for the enthusiasm for local food, Folks!  The event is sold out.

When: Wednesday June 3 at 6 p.m.

Where: Columbia Center Coho Room 2021 Marine Drive Astoria, OR 97103

Event Details:

Some of the first local food crops of the season will be the highlight of a Farm to Fork Demonstration Cooking Class & Dinner in June. Astoria Co-op Grocery, Columbia Memorial Hospital’s Nutritional Department, and Chef Marco Davis have been working together to do a series of these local food events, in an effort to inspire people to eat fresh and healthy foods, with an emphasis on seasonal vegetables. And this time the class will be offered at a new lower price. In the past the cost was $50 and now it is being offered for $35 each or two for $60.

“This is an amazing deal for such a high quality four course meal and wine pairings plus cooking instruction, but we’re going to try and work within a slightly smaller budget this time, because we want to make this accessible for everyone. It is our desire to expose as many people as we can to healthy foods through this event,” Astoria Co-op Grocery Marketing Director Zetty Nemlowill said.

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Columbia Memorial Hospital’s Nutrition Services Manager Vann Lovett echoes this desire to connect food, health and the community.

“Good food is so essential to health and well-being. We are excited to have another opportunity to collaborate with the Co-op in providing education to help build a healthy community,” Lovett said.

The Co-op will use its relationships with local farmers and other vendors to provide local and organic ingredients. Foods are harvested just before the class and the menu is designed based on what’s freshest and in season. Chef Marco is currently reaching out to local farmers to see what will be available. He says he will for sure be doing a rhubarb and strawberry dessert. He’s been experimenting with a new recipe for kale pesto, and he’s hoping that salmon will be plentiful. All of Chef Marco’s Farm to Fork dinners just so happen to be gluten free meals. Chef Marco will provide recipes and explain his cooking process as he prepares dinner before your eyes. Many of the growers will also be guests of the dinner, providing information about their farms and the food.

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Beans for Bags

FullSizeRender(50)“Beans for Bags” is a popular donation program we’ve seen at several food co-ops and we’re going to give it a try! The aim is to encourage conservation of disposable bags by offering customers a dried bean in exchange for bringing in their own shopping bag; one bean is given for each bag used. The bean represents 5¢, and customers may choose which one of three community organizations they would like to support with their bean.

Shoppers simply place their bean(s) in the slot(s) of their choice in jars located in the store. At the end of each quarter the beans will be counted and each of the organizations will receive a check proportionate to the number of beans they received in their jar.

Current Recipients:

This fall when you bring a reusable shopping bag to the Co-op, you’ll be helping the planet, and supporting some great community causes.

 
North Coast Watershed: supporting a goal to improve stream habitat to create a sustainable environment for salmon and people.

Camp Kiwanilong: general maintenance, replacing bunk beds, and replacing cabins.

Clatsop Animal Assistance: veterinary care including spay and neuter fees, pet adoption promotion, and any other needs not covered by the Clatsop County Animal Shelter’s budget.

Apply to Become a Recipient:

Community organizations can apply to become recipients of funds and they will be selected by the Co-op Board quarterly.  Click here for an application.

We will update you with how the program is going and hopefully we can all share in the success by turning reusable shopping bags into money for worthy causes, diverting landfill waste, and conserving trees.