Cast Your Vote for the Kind of World You Want by Shopping at the Co-op!

November 8, 2021

Last week Virginians went to the polls to vote in local and statewide elections. This participation is the center of our democracy and a sacred privilege. In a different way, we vote each and every day for our values. As the writer Anna Lappe has so beautifully pointed out “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”

What kind of world are we voting for when we buy our groceries at the Food Co-op? Shopping at the Co-op means that we’re voting for:

Income for Local Farmers and Other Local Producers to help support their families and earn a livelihood. This is a core value of the Co-op and it’s why we prioritize purchasing local products as much as possible – for example, local produce from nearby farms like Blenheim Organic Gardens; delicious breads from Jackalope; soups from Mo’s City Soup; burritos from Juan More Taco; dairy and meat products from Earth’s Echo Farms; delightful cupcakes from Cool Cat Cupcakes; and many others. We are committed to continually increasing our local offerings.

Fair Trade and a Decent Living for Farmers because the Co-op features fair trade items like the wonderful products from Equal Exchange, a worker-owned co-op that provides our store with fair trade bananas, chocolates, coffee, and nuts. You may pay a bit more for these items, but each of these products is carefully sourced to ensure that farmers are fairly compensated so they and their families can live decent and honorable lives. 

Environmental Sustainability because the Co-op centers environmental sustainability in all of our decisions. For example, we do not use plastic bags at the register, we offer bulk products that reduce packaging, we offer free tote bags made by our volunteers out of donated t-shirts, and we are committed to continually reducing waste and improving our sustainability efforts.

Community because this community is the heart of our Co-op. We exist to bring people together and to foster healthy lifestyles. Everyone is always welcome to shop at the Co-op whether they are Co-op owners or not. We believe that healthy foods should be accessible to all. We are the only grocery store in Fredericksburg that offers the Virginia Fresh Match Program that helps those of us who use SNAP/EBT to stretch our grocery dollars by providing twice the fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables for the price of one. We delight in bringing our community together around healthy food, local music, books, nutrition talks, cooking classes, and much more.   

Human Scale: In a world that is dominated by giant companies, the Co-op is owned by just a few thousand people who live right here and shop at the Co-op. We welcome all to join as equal owners and we welcome non-owners to shop at the Co-op. Our Co-op stands apart from the huge grocery chain stores. We have a smaller footprint and our governing board is elected by the Co-op owners. Our friendly staff will gladly help you find the products you want and if there is an item you want that we don’t yet carry, let us know and we’ll do our utmost to get it for you.

The elections that happened last week are over. But, in important ways, we are voting EVERY DAY for the kind of world we want. Thank you for voting for the Fredericksburg Food Co-op with your shopping dollars. We appreciate you!