April 2020
In this month's newsletter:
  • A Word from the GM
  • A Word from Your Board
  • 2020 Financial Meeting of Owners
  • Phone-In Ordering Now Available!
  • Common Ground's Response to COVID-19
  • Round Up For Good Update
  • Classes Canceled Announcement
In Response to COVID-19
Gary Taylor, General Manager
" As we enter into this time of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to reassure you that we at Common Ground are doing our best to make sure the needs of all of our stakeholders are being met."

Our First-Ever Virtual Financial Meeting of Owners!
Magdalena Casper-Shipp, Board Treasurer
"Every spring, we host our FinMOO ... This year, amid uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to host our first-ever virtual Financial Meeting Of Owners."

The Board of Directors typically meets the second Monday of the month from 6:15 to 8:15 pm in the Flatlander Classroom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors is exploring options for online meetings. Stay tuned for more information!
This year, our Financial Meeting of Owners will be online! The Board of Directors is organizing the meeting to take place on Zoom, a video chat platform, on April 18th from 6-7:30. A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to owners at least 24 hours in advance. Interested in the meeting agenda? Check out Magdalena's article in the "A Word From Your Board" section! Questions? Email board@commonground.coop
Phone Ordering Now Available Thursdays & Sundays! (217) 352-3347

In response to the COVID-19 threat and the Shelter-In-Place order, Common Ground is offering call-in orders with curbside pick-up! The Co-op is thrilled to be offering this service to the community. Here's how it works:
  • Orders can be called in on Thursdays and Sundays between 8am - 12pm. 
  • Curbside pick-up is available Thursdays and Sundays between 1pm - 5pm.
  • Orders must be picked up on the same day they are placed (all items will be returned to the shelves if not picked up on the same day the order was placed).
  • Payment will be completed at the time of pick-up. Card, check, and cash are accepted.
  • All orders are subject to a $3 service fee.
  • Items must be selected from the Order Menu (available here).
  • Items are only available while supplies last. Shoppers will be alerted of any out-of-stocks at the time of pick-up. Substitutions will not be available.
As we begin our new call-in ordering, Common Ground has compiled a limited menu of kitchen & household staples and popular items that shoppers can order from. The Co-op's entire inventory is not available for call-in ordering, but shoppers do have the option to choose up to five items not listed on the menu. To ensure accuracy, shoppers must indicate 1) Brand, 2) Product, 3) Size. 
 
Call the store at (217) 352-3347!
Healthy Co-ops Help Communities Stay Healthy
The current pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) shows us once again that grocery stores are a vital resource to the communities they serve. You have come to us in recent days to prepare alongside others in the community. We wish that everyone here, shoppers and staff alike approach the way we operate with the health of ourselves and each other in mind. Below are ways that we here at Common Ground are working to do this, followed by things you can do to help us and each other:

What Common Ground is doing:
As of March 14th:
  • Staff is increasing the frequency to hourly of sanitizing high-touch surfaces like door handles, baskets, carts, register belts, serving utensils, bathrooms, and co-op cafe tables. 

  • We still offer sanitizing wipes for customers to use when using a cart or basket. We anticipate that our supply will see disruption and are doing our best to source alternatives including sanitizer stations at entrances. Those alternatives will be implemented immediately upon arrival.

  • We have asked any staff exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or fever to stay home and notify their physician. We are working with employees on a case-by-case basis to ensure they have the support they need. 

  • We have stopped accepting personal cups at our Cafe and have ceased self-serve sampling. We are asking all customers to use store-supplied containers or bags for bulk buying. Common Ground will not be providing donated glass jars for the foreseeable future. Donations for glass containers are no longer being accepted.

  • We have removed testers in our Wellness department, with the exception of essential oil testers.

  • We have cancelled all classes, events, and trainings until 4/18/2020, and we will reassess as time goes on to extend if necessary.

  • It’s been a challenge to balance our commitment to sustainability, but we believe the health of our community currently demands the use of single use items like paper towels in our restrooms, so we will re-install dispensers for the time being. 
 
As of March 17th, the following changes are also implemented:
  • Self-serve coffee will only be available behind the Cafe counter
  • Oatmeal will only be available behind the Cafe counter.
  • The salad bar will be closed. Please check our Grab n' Go cooler for packaged salads.
  • One hot soup will be available daily and served behind the Cafe counter. Please check our Grab n' Go cooler for more packaged soups.
  • The Flatlander Classroom will be closed to the public for the time being.

As of March 20th, the following changes occurred:
  • The Cafe is closed indefinitely. Fresh pizzas, made-to-order sandwiches, coffee & tea are no longer available. Frozen pizzas available while supplies last.
  • The Kitchen & Bakery are closed indefinitely. Grab n' Go selections available while supplies last. There will be no soup or oatmeal.
  • Select bulk products are not available in the self-serve containers. To prevent the spread of germs, popular selections will be pre-packaged for safe shopping. Special orders are still available on all bulk items--just ask a staff member for help!

As of March 23rd, the following changes occurred:
  • Store hours changed to 7:30am - 7:00pm.
  • Senior (55+) shopping is designated for 7:30am - 9:00am. We respectfully ask those who are not an at-risk population to shop after 9:00am in order to protect some of our most vulnerable shoppers.

As of March 26th, Common Ground has implemented the following changes:

We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we have the essentials that you are seeking, like pantry staples, cleaning supplies, and health and body care items. We will continue to monitor closely and be nimble in adjusting our operations to prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff.

What you can do to help:
  • Practice proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Take care to cough/sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and refrain from touching your face. Try an elbow bump or foot tap instead of a handshake or hug as a social greeting in the store. Consider maintaining a social distance of 6ft or more.
  • Stay home if you can. If you’re sick, please consider not shopping out of consideration for folks at higher risk, including the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. We recognize that food access is essential and ask that if you must shop while sick, you use a covering for your nose/mouth and practice great hygiene. 
  • Place a special order. If you’re purchasing large quantities of single items, we recommend placing a special order to help us keep the shelves stocked for others. You can place an order for any item we carry directly with a staff member or by calling the store at (217) 352-3347. Most products will arrive within 2-3 days, though disruptions in the supply chain may result in out-of-stocks.
  • Stay informed: 
National CDC website:  www.cdc.gov
Illinois Department of Public Health:  www.dph.illinois.gov
Champaign County Public Health:  https://www.c-uphd.org/
  • Take care of each other. The amazing part of our co-op is the building of community. Let’s remember to continue to support one another and find ways to help us deal with uncertainty and fear. Perhaps that might look like getting your neighbors phone numbers and checking in via phone/text. Or maybe it’s doing something out in public for a loved one who might be at higher risk for complications if exposed to illness. It could be as small of a gesture as a smile and wave at your fellow humans as you pass each other or expressing gratitude when you feel it. We’re all in this together and we will get through it together.
March Round Up: Daily Bread Soup Kitchen
An update on the March Round Up
In March, we raised over $4200 for Daily Bread Soup Kitchen and contributed towards its efforts to build strong and peaceful communities. This organization's mission is to feed the hungry of our community regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. DBSK provides a safe, respectful, and inviting environment in an atmosphere of hope and dignity.

Thank you for helping us support such a great organization!

April Round Up: Rape, Advocacy, Counseling, Education Services
Introducing the April Round Up For Good Recipient
R.A.C.E.S. is the community-based rape crisis center serving East-Central Illinois. This organization provides free, confidential services to anyone who has been affected by sexual assault, abuse, or harassment. This organization provides compassionate comprehensive support to those affected by sexual trauma. We care for our communities through prevention education programs that promote consent.
Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, all classes and events have been canceled until further notice. Keep an eye out for updates!
Enjoy $2 off your next purchase of $15 or more
Just bring in this slip or show it on your device. Valid through the end of April. May not be reused or used for sale items, Co-op Basics, or alcohol.