From the GM: COVID-19 Update

We recognize that the Co-op is an important resource for our community to access healthy food to stock their pantries, replenish cleaning supplies, and purchase wellness products. As we continue to offer essential services to the community, we are also doing everything we can to minimize risk for staff and shoppers. We ask all MFC owners and shoppers to carefully read and follow the guidance and suggestions below.

6/30/2020 Updates:

  • As per the Governor's orders, face coverings will be required beginning this Wednesday, July 1st. We will be enforcing this requirement for all shoppers, including children over the age of 12. We strongly encourage children under 12 to also wear face coverings with the assistance and supervision of an adult.
  • Face coverings will be required in both the store and the Café. Masks, face shields, or face coverings are not required while eating or drinking while seated in the dining area in the Café, but otherwise must be worn at all times.
  • For those unable or unwilling to wear a face covering, we encourage you to utilize our online ordering option. We are temporarily waiving the $5 order fee and lifting the 24 item limit to accommodate the needs of our community.
  • Please note we will not tolerate harassment of staff regarding the statewide face covering policy. Please direct your comments and concerns to the General Manager at gm@medfordfood.coop.

6/24/2020 Updates:

  • Purchasing limits no longer apply to Smart Chicken products.

5/22/2020 Updates:

  • Beginning Monday, May 25th, we will be lifting purchasing limits on most items, with the following exceptions:

    • Bulk goods are limited to 5 lbs per item
    • Toilet paper is limited to one 4-pack, one 12-pack, or four single rolls
    • Packaged flour from King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill is limited to one 5 lb bag
    • Liquid hand soap is limited to one bottle per item
    • Smart Chicken is limited to four packages per item updated on 6/24/20

Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work through supply issues.

5/21/2020 Updates:

  • The seating area in the Café is now open. In compliance with the Phase I Reopening guidelines, there are fewer tables and chairs currently available in order to maintain the 6 foot social distancing requirements in the dining area. On that note, we ask that you please leave all tables and chairs in the current arrangement, as Café staff have carefully measured and placed seating areas according to the guidelines.
  • Beginning Monday, May 25th, store hours will expand to 7am to 8pm daily. Café hours will remain 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday until further notice.
  • Bottle redemption will resume in-store beginning on Friday, May 29th. Bottle returns are limited to 24 containers per person per day, and we’re only able to accept returns for products we sell.

5/15/2020 Updates:

  • As per the Governor’s orders, all staff are required to wear face coverings. We strongly encourage our shoppers to wear face coverings while shopping to protect themselves and others. Statewide face coverings are required in public spaces as of July 1st.
  • We are planning to reopen the seating area in the Café beginning Monday, May 18th, as per the guidelines for Phase I Reopening. More details to follow.

5/5/2020 Updates:

  • Effective immediately, we are resuming special orders in all departments except bulk. Due to shortages in the supply chain, we do not anticipate being able to fulfill bulk special orders at this time. Supplement special orders are subject to availability.

4/27/2020 Updates:

  • Staff may choose to wear a mask and and we are providing multiple fabric masks for those that choose to do so. Wearing a cloth mask during an entire work day is not only uncomfortable but can introduce health risks. The masks create a warm, moist environment ideal for the growth of bacteria and viruses. Every inhalation poses the risk of ingesting the substances that the masks are intended to block. This is less of a risk for customers who wear the masks for short periods of time while running errands. Additionally, mask contamination and contamination of other surfaces with the mask is a concern for staff not used to medical protocols. We are currently offering resources and information to help train staff on safe mask wearing and removal with guidance from the CDC. We are currently in communication with the OHA regarding mask guidelines for frontline grocery workers, and await their guidance on this matter.
  • Gloves are being worn by all staff in food packing and preparation areas, as is always required. Gloves are also being used by staff servicing the bulk department. Other staff members may choose to wear gloves at their own discretion. Proper glove use requires frequent hand washing and gloves to be changed frequently, otherwise gloves become a source of contamination and no longer provide protection. Due to the shortages in available PPE equipment, including gloves and disposabe masks, we are not requiring staff to wear gloves unless they choose, nor is it possible for all staff members to adhere to proper glove use given frequent cash handling required in certain positions. Regardless of glove use, all staff are trained and regularly reminded to practice frequent and thorough hand washing before, during, and after their shifts.

4/9/2020 Updates:

  • We are now offering Fresh Deals again, as of Wednesday, April 8th. Visit medfordfood.coop/specials/fresh-deals to view current deals.
  • Beginning Monday, April 13th, we will begin fulfilling online orders Monday through Saturday. Orders must be received by 3pm the previous day (example: for pick-up on Monday, order must be received by 3pm Sunday). To place an online order, visit: medfordfood.coop/orders.
  • No outside containers or reusable bags in the produce department until further notice. Please use the provided paper or plastic options for all produce items.
  • Plexiglass barriers were installed at the checkstands to help protect cashier staff.
  • Masks are being provided for all staff members that wish to wear them. We are also training all staff members on how to safely wear and use masks while working.
  • We have suspended the 5¢ fee for paper bags until further notice.
  • To reduce possible sources of contamination for staff and other shoppers, all sales are final. We are no longer accepting returns. If you have a product quality issue, please let us know and we will work with you to replace the product.
  • The following purchasing limits currently apply: max of 1 each per wellness item; bulk items are limited to a max of 5lbs per item; grocery items are limited to a max of 4 per item (this includes grocery, cooler, frozen, bakery, and meat items). Currently, there are no limits on purchases of produce, prepared foods, beer, or wine.
  • Social distancing decals have been placed on the floor to help shoppers visualize social distancing. Please try to maintain 6 feet between yourself and others whenever possible.
  • Suggestions for shoppers to help reduce congestion and improve overall flow in the store:
    • Change up your shopping routine! If there are several shoppers already in the produce department when you enter the store, consider shopping for the other grocery items on your list first to help maintain social distancing in crowded areas of the store.
    • If you need multiple bulk items, prepare a list of items with your desired quantities to give to the bulk clerk so they can easily pack your bulk items while you shop in other areas of the store.

4/2/2020 Updates:

  • The Café will be open Monday – Friday 8am to 6pm and closed on Saturday and Sunday, effective this Saturday, April 4th. Café staff will still be preparing fresh grab-n-go food on the weekends.

3/31/2020 Updates:

  • A handwashing sink has been installed in front of the store to encourage shoppers to wash their hands before grocery shopping. If you notice the area needs attention (ex. more soap or paper towels are needed), please alert the nearest staff member so we can keep the sink clean and ready to use. As per the previous update, all carts and baskets are being sanitized by staff in between use.

3/27/2020 Updates:

  • Beginning Wednesday, April 1st, we will be open 7am to 7pm daily until further notice. We are temporarily reducing store hours from our normal 7am to 9pm. This will help us cover all the additional tasks that need to be done right now without stretching our staff too thin. The Café is currently open 8am to 6pm. We know April 1st is April Fool's Day, but it's no joke, we really mean it!
  • We are now offering online ordering for pick-up for our most vulnerable shoppers. Orders will be fulfilled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, beginning Tuesday, March 31st. See 4/9/2020 update above. Visit medfordfood.coop/orders for details.
  • Due to shortages in the supply chain, we are running low on sanitizing wipes and unable to get more in stock at this time. Staff are sanitizing all shopping carts and baskets in between use. After you checkout, please leave your shopping cart in the picnic area to be sanitized by a staff member, rather than returning it to the cart corral. If you use a hand-basket, please leave your basket with the cashier to be sanitized.
  • Update on special orders: We are currently accepting special order for produce, beer & wine, prepared foods, and wellness items (as available). We are unable to accept special orders for grocery, bulk, meat, cooler, freezer, pet food, and household goods until further notice.

3/25/2020 Updates:

  • Medford Food Co-op staff are essential to the operation of the Co-op and responding to customers’ needs. During any emergency, one of management’s top priorities is to protect staff and meet their needs for support. We are actively encouraging staff members to stay home if they are sick, especially those displaying symptoms of respiratory illness or elevated temperature. No disciplinary actions will be issued to staff for absences during this time. If a staff member displays any symptoms while at work, they will be directed to go home. We offer staff a Compassionate Paid Time Off program to support co-workers who may not have Paid Time Off available to use during this time. We are committed to paying any staff member that might be placed into  mandatory quarantine. Our dedicated staff have displayed courage, kindness, and loyalty by showing up each and every day to ensure our community has access to healthy food. We will be providing staff with a premium pay bonus equivalent to an extra $2/hour for the next two pay periods.
  • To ensure there is plenty for everyone, the following purchasing limits now apply: max of 1 each per wellness item. Bulk items are currently limited to a max of 5lbs per item. Grocery items are limited to a max of 4 per item (this includes grocery, cooler, frozen, bakery, and meat items). Currently, there are no limits on purchases of produce, beer, or wine. Please don’t purchase more than you need. Save some for friends and neighbors so everyone has enough food. Purchasing limits were updated on 4/9/2020, see above for current limits.

3/21/2020 Updates:

  • Beginning tomorrow 3/22/2020, the bulk department will no longer be accessible for self service. Staff will be available to assist you. No outside containers or reusable bags. Max of 5 lbs per bulk item.

3/20/2020 Updates:

  • To ensure there is plenty for everyone, the following purchasing limits now apply: max of 5 lbs per bulk item, and max 4 of each grocery item (this includes grocery, cooler, frozen, bakery, meat, and wellness items). Currently, there are no limits on purchases of produce, beer, or wine. Please don’t purchase more than you need. Save some for friends and neighbors so everyone has enough food.  Purchasing limits were updated on 4/9/2020, see above for current limits.
  • As of today, the Café hours are reduced to 8am to 6pm daily Monday through Friday, as of April 4th.

3/19/2020 Updates:

  • We did not receive any deliveries today, including our Smart Chicken order, due to supply chain shortages. We apologize the inconvenience and will continue to post updates about deliveries as we are able.
  • For the health and safety of all our shoppers, please only touch what you plan to buy.
  • We are not currently accepting bottles or cans for return. Bottles and cans will need to be taken to the redemption center for return until further notice.
  • We are not accepting outside containers or reusable bags in the bulk department until further notice. Please use the provided paper, plastic, or cellophane options for all bulk goods.
  • We are honoring the March 18th-24th Fresh Deals flyer, but due to shortages in the supply chain, we will not be able to offer future Fresh Deals until further notice. Fresh Deals resumed on Wednesday, April 8th.
  • We will continue to offer Co+op Deals, but recognize that many items many not be available as expected. Additionally, we will not be hanging the Co+op Deals signs for the time being due to limited staff capacity. Co+op Deals flyers are available in-store to help shoppers identify Co+op Deals items, and will continue to be emailed to owners on a weekly basis. We resumed hanging Co+op Deals signage in early April.
  • Beginning tomorrow Friday, March 20th, the Café will be open for take-out and grab-n-go items from 8am to 6pm daily Monday through Friday, as of April 4th. The seating area remains closed. The store will continue to be open 7am to 9pm daily. As of April 1, the store will be open 7am to 7pm daily until further notice.
  • Elderly and at-risk shoppers are encouraged to shop between 7am and 8am when the store is less crowded and it is easier to maintain distances from staff and other shoppers.

Here’s what MFC is doing:

  • Effective immediately (3/17/2020 11:00AM), we are suspending special orders in the following departments: grocery, bulk, cooler, freezer, beer & wine, pet food, and household goods. We are currently still accepting orders for: produce, meat, wellness, and prepared foods. Due to the high volume of orders we’ve already received, combined with the shortages in the supply chain, we are not confident about the ability to fulfill these orders in a timely manner. As such, we are suspending special orders until further notice. Please note: if you have already placed a special order, staff are working to fulfill orders as quickly as possible. Due to shortages in the supply chain, we are unable to make any promises or guarantees regarding availability and expected date of fulfillment. We resumed special orders for all departments except bulk on May 5, 2020.
  • The self-serve kombucha growler fill station has been temporarily shut-down until further notice. Bottled kombucha is available.
  • We have discontinued the self-serve bulk greens in the produce department until further notice. Packaged greens are available.
  • The self-serve donuts in the bakery section are not currently available in the store, but are available in the Café from counter staff.
  • As per the Oregon Health Authority, the seating area in the Café will be CLOSED until further notice beginning on Tuesday, March 17th. The Café will remain open for take-out orders and grab-n-go items. Peruse the menu for available options.
  • In addition to increasing the frequency of sanitizing common surfaces throughout the store, we have also implemented the use of a CDC recommended sanitizer to clean surfaces. While we try to use the most natural effective cleaners possible, we will follow the CDC recommendations during this time to combat the virus. We have also placed additional hand sanitizing wipes in high traffic areas, like the store entrance, bulk department, and at each checkstand. In addition to thorough hand washing, we encourage staff and shoppers to use these sanitizing wipes as needed to ensure surfaces are clean and sanitary.
  • All passive sampling has been suspended until further notice. This includes samples of new products, free fruit in the produce department, as well as the hot bar and salad bar. If there is product you would like to sample before purchasing, please ask a staff member for assistance.
  • To be proactive about the spread of the virus, we have decided to discontinue all self-serve food items in the Café until further notice. This includes the hot soup, hot bar, salad bar, and hot coffee. All menu items, including hot soup and coffee, are still available made to order, and staff will do their best to keep the grab-n-go items well stocked. In the coming days, look for additional prepackaged grab-n-go options, and hot entrees made to order.
  • Beyond the health and safety standards all staff are expected to adhere to daily, we are encouraging additional hand washing and more frequent glove changing. We are actively encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick, especially those displaying symptoms of respiratory illness or elevated temperature. No disciplinary actions will be issued to staff for absences during this time. If an employee displays any symptoms while at work, they will be directed to go home. We offer staff a Compassionate Paid Time Off program to support staff members who may not have Paid Time Off available to use during this time. We are committed to paying any staff member that might be placed into mandatory quarantine.

What you can do:

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Keep your hands away from your face. Disinfect the handles of shopping baskets and carts before use.
  • Reduce hand to hand contact. Stop handshaking. Use cards for payment to reduce cash handling. Owners should give cashiers their last name or owner number, rather than handing the owner card to the cashier. To minimize staff exposure, we're asking you to handle your own shopping bags.
  • Avoid crowding. The Co-op tends to be less crowded early in the morning and later in the evening.
  • Do not come to the Co-op if: you feel unwell, have been in contact with someone who has been ill, or if you are advised to self-quarantine. Please do not send your family members to the store, or anyone else you have had contact with.

We are aware that we may face product shortages due to our distributors running out of essential products. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through these supply issues. Please be assured that we will continue to provide services as we are able. If you are thinking about stocking up on food and water, Co-op staff are happy to assist you. Special orders for a case of product are eligible for a 10% discount. Special orders help us get you what you need and leave our shelves full for other shoppers. Call the store or ask staff about placing a special order. Special orders temporarily suspended on March 17, 2020 - see above for details.

If you have any questions about MFC’s response, or if there are further steps we can take to help you feel comfortable as a Co-op shopper, please reach out via email to gm@medfordfood.coop. We want to make sure that you feel comfortable and know we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe grocery shopping experience.

 

Anne Carter
General Manager

 

This page will be updated with additional information as needed in the coming days and weeks.