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COVID-19 Updates for Owners

 
May 12, 2020

Dear Owners,

Over the past month and a half, Honest Weight has implemented numerous measures to maintain a co-op that is as safe as possible for our membership, staff, and customers. Our efforts have been very successful thanks to great care and diligence among all constituents of our community.

Late yesterday, we were informed that an HWFC staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus -- you may have received management's letter that went out earlier today. At any rate, the Board of Directors wanted to be sure you received this news; hence, our email.

HWFC is in communication with the Albany County Department of Health and is following all recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The staff member last worked at Honest Weight on Wednesday, May 6th. They are recovering at home and will return to work after the required period of time has passed per Department of Health guidelines.

Please be assured that we are providing the Albany County Department of Health with any information necessary for their investigation. The Department of Health will be directly reaching out to Member-Owners who may have had close contact with this staff member on Tuesday, May 5th and/or Wednesday, May 6th. This information will be determined based on time investment sign-ins and from the affected employee. If you believe you know who this employee is, we ask that you do your best to respect their privacy.

The Albany County Department of Health assures us this positive test result does not make Honest Weight a higher risk environment than other public spaces. In fact, many of the health measures in place at Honest Weight go above and beyond the norm. 

Please go to the HWFC website for up-to-date information.

Honest Weight will continue its current hours, 8am-8pm daily with Early Bird Shopping on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

We take pride in our cleanliness and food safety standards, and we continue to review and adapt our standards to best serve all the members of our community. 

As always, we hope you and yours are safe and healthy.

Be well,

HWFC Board of Directors

May 7, 2020
 
Dear Owners of Honest Weight,
 
We hope you are well. 
 
As we all navigate through these COVID-19 weeks and months, the Board’s efforts remain focused on being both proactive and responsive to HWFC’s ongoing needs and to our Membership.
 
At our May 5 Board meeting, we made the following decisions which are in place until our June 2 Board meeting at which time each policy will be renewed or concluded:
 
  1. M-O Time Investment Incentive: MOs investing time on the floor and in admin will continue to receive double hours;

  2. M-Os 70+: We continue to encourage MOs who are 70+ years of age, or those who have compromised immunity, to consider your situation carefully before resuming a time investment; Several risk-reduction measures have been implemented at the Co-op (review them here); if you feel these measures are sufficient to meet your needs and want to invest time, please check in with your department or with Yevette at memberservices@honesweight.coop

  3. Hours Bank: The Hours Bank continues to be available to supplement accrued hours of those who have consistently invested time at HWFC; 

  4. Hours Bank Donations: If you have extra hours, please consider donating some of them! Donate by contacting Yevette at memberservices@honesweight.coop;

  5. Committees, Bylaws Panel, the GRC, and the Board will not meet on site for the next month; governance bodies will continue to meet online, by conference call, and/or will conduct business by email;

  6. May Membership Meeting: We will be running a “practice” alternate Membership Meeting on May 31st – look for upcoming detailed information – we need your participation!

  7. June Membership Meeting: Member-Owners with up-to-date time investments and ownership payments at any point from the end of March through June 1st will be eligible to vote at the June meeting.
 
Please continue to email us with your questions, concerns and suggestions. We appreciate your input and your support.
 
Be well,
HWFC Board of Directors
 
April 10, 2020

Dear Owners of Honest Weight,

We’ve heard from a number of you regarding the use of masks.  The CDC has also recently recommended wearing masks in public, as many carriers are asymptomatic.  This does not take the place of social distancing, and, even with a mask, people are still encouraged to maintain their distance from each other.

As of Monday, April 13, HWFC will begin requiring all Member-Owners to wear masks during their time-investments in the store.  Working in tandem with management, all staff will be wearing masks while on the clock.

If you believe that you may have COVID-19, and wish to be tested, Monday, April 6, a drive-through testing site was opened at UAlbany https://www.albany.edu/covid-19/news/ualbany-supports-covid-19-testing-efforts

The NYS Health Department states that while cloth face coverings may prevent the wearer from becoming infected it can also help slow the spread from people who may be unaware they have the virus.

The CDC states here and here that:

  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they must go out in public, for example to the grocery store.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a face mask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. 

A few important reminders:

  • If you feel sick, please stay home.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Please be kind and have patience -- this is uncharted territory for everyone, and we’re all in this together.

Cooperatively,

HWFC Board of Directors

 
April 6, 2020
Hello Member-Owners,
 
First and foremost, we send our hopes that every single one of you and your loved ones are safe and well. At Honest Weight, we remain committed to serving the needs of the community while staying safe and healthy.
 
We are announcing a grassroots effort to offer curbside pick up for people who need it. While anyone can call and ask for a curbside pick-up, we are advertising this service exclusively to Member-Owners-- You guys get first priority! This has developed organically, with a couple orders and a couple staff picking up the groceries and taking payment over the phone. Now we would like to extend the offer to see if we can help more people who depend on us for their necessities. We're all in this together, after all!
 
Here are some details to help you use the curbside pick-up:
 
  • You may call the Customer Service Desk, at 518-482-2667, between 8 AM and 8 PM, and ask for curbside pick-up. The staff who answer the phone will take your name and phone number to add to the waiting list.

 

  • Your curbside shopper (one of us trusty co-opers) will call you back when we have the capability to shop for your order.
 
  • Your curbside shopper will take your order of 25 items or fewer, either via phone or email. If email works for you then you may discuss emailing your list to the shopper when they call you.
 
  • You and your shopper will work out the pick-up time and payment details for your order. An important note for this: We do not have a way to hold your order at the store, you will need to pick up your order at the agreed upon time.
 
  • Groceries will be paid for at the time of pick-up.
 
While this is not a service we are normally able to offer, we hope to be able to continue this service throughout these challenging times. We appreciate our staff, member-owners, owners and customers and we welcome feedback about our efforts in this rapidly changing environment.
 
Hang in there HWFC and everyone!
 
Stay healthy and safe,
HWFC Board of Directors
 

March 30, 2020

Dear Owners of Honest Weight,

Some of you may be wondering why the Board has decided to continue to allow Member-Owner (MO) time investments at this time.

Our primary goal is to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the entire HWFC community.

HWFC's standard operating procedure includes the use of Member-Owner time investments. Several departments have communicated to the Board their reliance on both staff and Member-Owners during this pandemic. As an essential business, we would not be acting in the best interests of the Co-op or the public by barring MOs from investing time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, our CFO has repeatedly stated that HWFC cannot thrive financially without time investments by MOs. COVID-19 has not changed this fact.

HWFC's recent policy adaptations allowing staff paid coverage and MOs to augment hours by accessing the Hours Bank during the pandemic promote self-care and reduced in-store personal contact. We have established early-bird shopping three days a week to increase social distancing for vulnerable shoppers. Staff and MOs benefit from this reduced shopper-density as well. We have also encouraged MOs who are 70 years of age or older or who have compromised immune systems to refrain from investing time during the pandemic. Many of these MOs have suspended their time investments.

We encourage anyone, staff or MO, who is uncomfortable working or investing time for any reason during this pandemic to talk to a supervisor or to the Member-Owner Coordinator to review the supports that management and the Board have implemented and which are available to staff and MOs during this very challenging time.

We continually review and are open to revising our policies as needed. We appreciate hearing your perspective. 

We wish you good health.

Sincerely,

HWFC Board of Directors

March 24, 2020

Dear Owners of Honest Weight,
 
We hope all is well with you.
 
The HWFC Board of Directors has made decisions regarding our time investment program and other important matters related to the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. Please see the items listed below. 
 
As we mentioned in our prior email, if you are healthy and willing to invest time, please fulfill your usual time investment and consider adding shifts to compensate for those who are sick or uncomfortable about investing their time. We encourage you to donate hours to the Hours Bank if you can afford to do so. Please contact Yevette Buddeau (MOC) at memberservices@honestweight.coop to donate hours.
 
1. M-O Time Investment incentive: MOs investing time on the floor and in admin will receive double hours starting retroactively from March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020.
 
2. M-Os 70+: We strongly urge MOs who are 70 years of age or more to refrain from investing time. Please consider applying to the Hours Bank.
 
3. Classes/Outreach: The policy of crediting scheduled hours for teacher/practitioner/outreach cancellation by HWFC will continue through the end of April. Long-term, we may need to develop a new system for classes that looks nothing like the current system.
 
4. New Owner Orientations: will be suspended until at least the end of April
 
5. Committee meetings: on-site meetings remain suspended through at least the end of April; members may choose to organize a web-based meeting, conference call, or to conduct business by email
 
6. Regular Membership Meetings: The April and May RMM dates will be delayed by a month, changed as follows:
a. The Annual Membership Meeting, where elections for Directors will take place, will be moved to May 31, 2020.
b. The Annual Budget Meeting will be held June 28, 2020.
 
7. Voting Eligibility: An owner shall have met the time-investment requirement to be eligible to vote at the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting, where voting for Directors will occur, if they meet one of the following conditions:
a. Owner had sufficient hours at the end of March, and would have been eligible to vote in April 2020.
b. Owner attains sufficient hours by the end of the month prior to the next RMM (BL 240.2).
 
8. April Board Meeting: The Board is looking into holding the April Board meeting at the Co-op as usual, but is also exploring an electronic method in order to reduce population density for the April Board meeting. We are committed to doing all that we can to hold our April Board meeting. We will be in touch with you by the 31st to articulate our plan.
This meeting will likely allow for people to “call in” to participate. Any person who would normally be required to attend a Board meeting may attend the Board meeting through this alternate means.
 
9. Hours Bank: If you plan to request hours to augment your banked time for March, please do so before March 31. The Hours Bank will be available to supplement accrued hours of those who have consistently invested time at HWFC to complete the total number needed in April for the May discount and for voting eligibility. If you have an excess of hours needed for May’s discount and voter eligibility, you will not be eligible to use the Hours Bank in April. 
 
Be well,
 
HWFC Board of Directors

March 13, 2020

Dear Owners of Honest Weight,

We have moved into increasingly difficult territory over the past couple of weeks.  COVID-19 cases began to appear in the U.S. and, seemingly overnight, into the Capital Region.

Perhaps you have read the HWFC Fresh News blog post describing our management’s response to this new and challenging situation. The Fresh News post provides important news and updates about HWFC’s actions to curb the spread of COVID-19 while still providing access to the food and products we all rely upon. We hope you will check the Fresh News page on a regular basis.

In addition, we know that many of you invest time in the store and are wondering whether you should continue to do so. Some of you feel it’s best not to fulfill your time investment during this uncertain period. We understand your trepidation. 

If you feel the need to cancel your shift, please do so with as much advance notice as possible so HWFC can do our best to cover our business needs as we continue to support our community. 

We want to share with you the decisions we’ve made concerning our time investment program and COVID-19. Conceivably, we may have to revise or extend some of these policies, but the following will be in effect at least through the end of March:

  • If you are healthy and willing to invest time, please fulfill your usual time investment and consider adding shifts to compensate for those who are sick or uncomfortable about doing so;
  • If your usual time investment is unavailable and you wish to invest time, contact Yevette Buddeau, Member-Owner Coordinator (MOC) at memberservices@honestweight.coop to inquire about completing hours elsewhere;
  • If you feel you may be getting sick, are sick, or are in a high-risk category, do not invest time;
    • Please go to this CDC webpage to help you decide whether to fulfill your time investment this month;
    • Yevette Buddeau (MOC) or, in her absence, the Manager On Duty, or a department manager will send home any Member-Owner who exhibits signs of illness;
  • The Hours Bank will be available to supplement accrued hours of those who have consistently invested time at HWFC and have completed some of their March time investment to complete the total number needed for the April discount and for voting eligibility;
  • If you have an excess of hours needed for next month’s discount and voter eligibility, you will not be eligible to use the Hours Bank this month;
  • We encourage you to donate hours to the Hours Bank if you can afford to do so. Please contact  Yevette Buddeau (MOC) at memberservices@honestweight.coop to donate hours;
  • Committees, Bylaws Panel, and the GRC will not meet on site; members may choose to organize a web-based meeting, conference call, or to conduct business by email;
  • Orientations for new owners will be suspended for the rest of March; 
  • We will update these policies as needed on this HWFC webpage; or, wait for our next email.

At this demanding time, we especially wish to acknowledge the vital contribution provided by our dedicated and talented staff, without whom we would not meet the needs of our community. 

HWFC plans to remain open throughout this pandemic. We take our mission and statements of conscience to heart and strive to meet the needs of our community every day no matter what circumstances impinge upon us. Together, we will get through this.

Be well,

HWFC Board of Directors