Welcome to 2021 and what some might call “the year of the new normal.” Hoping to control the Covid Pandemic in view, I am choosing to instead think about moving forward with what we have. Here at the Monadnock Food Co-op, we have much to celebrate. Our expansion project has been completed, and we see the promise of that growth already. We see new products on the shelves; exciting menu items coming out of our expanded kitchen; more local vendors offering their products to our shoppers; a robust new online ordering system; a growing “Healthy Food for All” program; and more competitive pricing. Much to enjoy and be thankful for.
Our Board of Directors is also turning a page after a more than 3-year focus on growth. We turn our attention to our Ends and exploring the importance of “Everyone Welcome,” equity, and justice throughout everything we do. It is not enough to acknowledge that structural racism exists but also to examine our own policies and practices to ensure that we are proactively anti-racist.
At our January Board meeting, we discussed our cooperative’s role in promoting and practicing racial equity. Is it a strategic imperative or a means to an end? What do we as individuals bring to the discussion, and what do we have to learn in order to unlearn and challenge racist attitudes and stereotypes? What do our other stakeholders, members-owners, employees, shoppers, expect from us? Where can we make an impact where it matters most to them?
As we begin this journey, we will be learning, listening, and growing, and we invite you to join us in this. Watch for events where you can share your thoughts. Please send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your thoughts on this topic. Watch for future articles on our work in this newsletter. In the meantime, be kind to each other.