Our Community Outreach Program has been ongoing since we opened in May of 2009. Owned by member-owners, we feel that it is our duty and part of our mission statement to help and support the community as much as we can! Another key part to our mission statement is to provide education about local and sustainable food programs in the community. One non-profit in particular that we work with consistently is the Boys & Girls Club of the North Country run by Eric Frydman. We provide occasional cooking programs and donate healthy snacks to their program. This year we plan to do even more with them. Feel free to contact Eric Frydman the Director of the Boys & Girls Club located in Lisbon, NH at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about their program.
Six times a week we donate food to local food banks. Products include; day old breads, fresh fruit and veggies with cosmetic flaws and more. Throughout the year, we help to raise funds for local food drives. We also support two local health fun races; the Top Notch Triathalon and the Ammonoosuc Amble. We also solicit help from local and regional brokers. A big part of our Community Outreach Program is our Partner of the Month program in which we help raise funds for local non-profits. Each month, we sponsor a different non-profit. Around the first of the month, the Partner of the Month decorates a bulletin board in the front of our store with information about their program. In addition, canisters are set up at our cash registers for customers to donate money as they check out. And every Friday of the month, $1 from every pizza sold is donated to the non-profit. The Partner of the Month also chooses a Friday afternoon to come in and set up an information table about their program to share with shoppers. In addition, we would like to develop a more consistent educational program within our local school system to encourage healthier eating habits amongst school kids.
The main objectives of our program are education, sustainability, and local foods. As a consumer, it is important to know where your food is coming from and here at the Co-op we educate our customers as much as we can. By holding classes, providing nutritional recipe cards, social media posts, and more we try and make shopping at the Co-op an educational experience. In addition, we work closely with the local farmers, producers, and growers to develop a relationship between our customers and our farmers. And in return, our customers see and learn about where their food is coming from. In line with that, we support our local farmers, producers, and growers as much as we can by filling our shelves with local produce, meats, dairy, breads and more. Sustainability is another key objective of our program. Owned by the community for the community, it is important to keep our member-owners happy. And when cooperative members work together, it is easier to communicate and listen to our member-owners as a whole.
Since the program started in 2009, we have collected over $19,000 for local non-profit organizations. Our ongoing program continues to receive positive feedback each month. Because this program is run consistently and more and more non-profits are reaching out to us to be included in our Partner of the Month program, it continues to receive great support from our community. In addition, we are always looking for more ways to support our community and whenever there is an opportunity to help or attend an event, we do.
The Littleton Food Co-op has definitive goals as part of our Mission Statement beyond providing quality foods to our Community. Many of these we accomplish with our current programs, like our Partner of the Month and our focus on sourcing foods locally s much as possible. One goal we'd like to focus more on in 2014 will be to educate our customers both young and old. The focus of the Co-op this year will be to dedicate time and resources to educating our customers, inside and outside of the store, the benefits of Healthy Eating. Our intention is to purchase a curriculum of Educational Materials that best meet this goal. With these materials we'll work to distribute this message to Schools, Health Care Facilities and other venues in our Community to further this Mission. Ed King, General Manager
Soon after the Littleton Consumer Cooperative Society opened its store in May 2009, manager Bob Hayes initiated the Partner of the Month program. Through this Community Outreach Program, the Co-op endeavors to help other area non-profit groups raise funding for and awareness of their work in the community. Participants in the program have ranged from small preschools and animal rescue groups to the local VFW post and the regional chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Each month, the Co-op submits a press release to area media outlets, with information about the featured organization and its upcoming events. Each partner is also encouraged to share information within the store throughout the month, and to have members present during a monthly fundraising Pizza and Partner Night at the Co-op. Since the program’s inception in 2009, the Co-op and its customers have raised a total of over $19,000 for more three dozen area non-profit groups and helped spread the word about many of the organizations working to foster a strong and healthy community. Meghan McCarthy McPhaul, President of the Board at the Gale River Cooperative Preschool