Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

I recently went to the co-op and noticed the two new, large signs above the entrances to our co-op: “Co-op Cafe” and “Everyone Welcome.” I was excited to see the cafe signage, but then the other sign gave me a pause. As a board member, I know what we’re doing to practice DEI – Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion — but does everyone know what we’re up to?

You may have an inkling because Monadnock Food Co-op has been working to connect people (that’s the staff, shoppers, and vendors) in our community of all ages, races, religions, gender identity, sexual orientations, economic means, and physical ability from day one. But my guess is that you don’t know or haven’t noticed, so we thought it would be important to highlight some of our achievements:

  • Improvements made for persons with disabilities — parking lot spaces by the building, the door opener to the cafe, and the amphitheater is accessible
  • Financial accessibility — Healthy Food For All, Membership for All, and Double Up Food Bucks programs
  • Staff diversity rates — met or exceed the demographics of our region
  • Inclusivity training for all staff — what it means to be non-binary
  • Racial Equity — Partnered with organizations to provide information and education

If any of the above touches you or someone you love, you know they are significant, important, and impactful.

There are more works-in-progress and plans for the future, so stay tuned. It’s been a really tough 12+ months for everyone. Know that our co-op is doing a lot of work to stand behind that big “Everyone Welcome” sign at the entrance. And soon, the Cafe Co-op will mean more than grabbing food-to-go, but a place to meet up with our community and friends.

Happy Spring Festivals of all religions and cultures, everyone!