Shoppers, member-owners, farmers, staff – it’s the people who make Monadnock Food Co-op more than a grocery store. Each quarter, we will highlight one of the many people who make our co-op what it is and what it can be.
Sandy Hamm, a member-owner, also served as an early volunteer who helped lay the groundwork for our co-op to open in 2013. From member-owner number one, she maintained our membership database, hosted our initial Marketing Committee meeting’s at her home and lent a hand in so many ways.
“Supporting the co-op is like supporting family,” shared Sandy. “This is my co-op, and I have a commitment to its overall well-being.”
Post-opening, her enthusiasm for and commitment to the co-op continued. She taught workshops on Canning and Seed Starting, sharing her homesteading skills with us. Sandy keeps a vase on our customer service desk full of flowers from her yard during the growing season. Whenever she travels, she visits local food co-ops and shares resources and ideas that she gleans during her visits. All of this and more led us to award Sandy the very first Cooperator of the Year award in 2014.
“Where else can you go and encounter folks with such positive spirits, support fair trade practices and quality local jobs, and at the same time come away having experienced interesting interactions with staff and shoppers and have fine food and products that you needed?”
Sandy’s commitment to the community goes beyond the co-op. Twenty years ago she recruited and organized 300 volunteers for a Blitz Build for the Monadnock Habitat for Humanity — an effort that built a new home in just a week. She and her husband, Rob, also installed a tiny library in front of their house in hopes that people of all ages will borrow a book and leave a favorite behind for someone else to enjoy.
Her yard is a testament to food security, showing how much food we can raise when we swap out our lawns for edible gardens, beehives, and chicken coops. She is always excited to share updates about her garden, chicken flock, and beehive.
“Living simply is something you see on bumper stickers,” said Sandy. “But actually living this priority brings opportunity. It’s about making choices that support our needs as well as those of our community.”
Sandy’s warmth, optimism, and dedication to the community are infectious — please be sure to introduce yourself to her if your shopping cart paths cross.