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s t o P m o C The

December ‘16/J anuar y ‘1 7 Fe

rtilizer For

The Min d

Election Results Page 4

Food Justice for All Page 5

Happy Birthday, Just Food! Page 10

Contents Election of New Board Members�������������4 Food Justice For All�����������������������������������5 Board of Directors 2016

Classes/In Store Education������������������ 8-11

Dirk Peterson - President Penny Hillemann - Vice President Clark Ohnesorge - Secretary Adam Hoffman - Treasurer Matt Berg-Wall Dan Forsythe Doug Hiza Jay Johnson Kathy Zeman

Happy Birthday, Just Food!���������������������14

Membership Application........................11

Management Team

Jerry Huddleston, General Manager Stephanie Aman, Marketing and Member Services Manager Lindsay Byhre, Interim Human Resources Manager Robert Erpenbach, Finance Manager

Membership Benefits

• Supporting a locally-owned, sustainable and socially responsible business. • Email Subscription to The ComPost. • Profits returned to members as patronage rebates, at the discretion of the Board. • Member-only prices on Co-op classes. • Check writing for up to $20 over the amount of purchase. • Member-only specials on selected items throughout the store. • 10% case discounts, some exclusions apply. Membership application on page 11.

About The ComPost

Fertilizer For The Mind

Editor: Stephanie Aman

The ComPost is a bimonthly publication of Just Food Co-op and is published for the benefit of our membership and the community. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Just Food Co-op or its members. For information about submissions, contact Stephanie Aman at 507.650.0106 or Letters to the editor are welcome and may be sent to the same email or 516 Water St. S., Northfield, MN 55057. Just Food Co-op is a proud member of the Twin Cities chapter of the National Cooperative Grocers (NCG).


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Important Dates Friday, December 2 Meal and Movie Night! Movie: Greenhorns Meal: Deli Choice - Housemade Soup This event is free - both meal and movie! Saturday, December 3; 10a-12p Coffee with the Board Thursday, December 8 Community Event: Winter Walk! Thursday, December 15 Wellness Third Thursday - 5% off JFC’s Wellness Department. All day - for everyone! Happy Birthday Just Food - Cake and a great present to be unwrapped soon for our members! Saturday, December 24 Open 8am - 4pm Sunday, December 25 and January 1 CLOSED Saturday, January 7, 10a-12p Coffee with the Board Thursday, January 19 Wellness Third Thursday - 5% off JFC’s Wellness Department. All day - for everyone!

December 2016/January 2017


From the Board of Directors

Just Food Elects New Board Members

Dirk Peterson Board President Co-op Member

Every year the owners of Just Food Co-op gather at the Annual Meeting and refresh their elected representation to the Board of Directors. And who are the owners? Why, they are each of you who have joined our grocery store cooperative by purchasing stock to ensure our community has high quality natural food. This comes to the heart of who we are. We are people who believe that a healthy community starts with providing clean, healthy, and locally-sourced food for our families, friends, and neighbors. This form of corporation, a cooperative, strives to foster a strong community in other ways as well. Benefits of a cooperative include patronage payments for owners, good jobs in the store, support for local farmers, and the recycling of our food dollars that add resiliency in our local economy. The Annual Meeting of Just Food owners was held this year on October 18th at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. The Annual Meeting is when the Board of Directors (your elected representatives) report to the owners on the status and health of our cooperative. It is also when votes are tallied to determine who will fill any vacant seats on the nine-seat Board of Directors. The Board is charged with setting the strategic direction for the Co-op, evaluating the performance of the General Manager, and performing fiduciary duties to protect the Co-op’s assets. Directors are generally elected to staggered three-year terms, and this year, three seats were open. Owners were offered three ways to vote this year in an effort to get as many of you as possible to “weigh in” on your preferred representatives. All owners could return a mailed ballot, fill out a ballot in the store, or vote at the Annual Meeting. This added feature of the mailed ballot contributed to a doubling overall voter participation when compared with past elections. We are pleased to announce the election of the following candidates to the Board of Directors:

General Manager Search Committee. She brings very strong communications skills to the Board as reflected through her profession as a communication strategist, senior writer, and project manager at Neuger Communications Group in Northfield. Penny is a founding owner of Just Food Co-op and an outdoors enthusiast, which is exemplified by her passion for River Bend Nature Center where she also serves on its Board of Directors. Alyson Center. Alyson is one of our new Board members. She brings an outstanding set of skills and broad knowledge about food systems, the natural world and how education will play a key role in the work of the board. She is currently a professor of biology at Normandale Community College. Previously, Alyson taught at St. Olaf College. A long-time Just Food owner, she is deeply committed to our Ends Policy and how it can be shared with our community. Andrew Henley. Andrew is another new member of our Board. He has been a long-term supporter and owner of co-ops throughout his life. He leads by example in promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles as evidenced in his volunteering on organic farms, mentoring local youth, and helping to create a regenerative agricultural operation on the farm where he lives. Andrew owns an audio services company in addition to all of his other community efforts. Please welcome these newly elected and re-elected board members to the Just Food Board. We are looking forward to the fresh contributions these dedicated owners will bring to our cooperative and our community! The Board of Directors wishes to also thank our members who are leaving the board. They are Ann Iijima, Matt Berg-Wall, and interim member Jay Johnson. We appreciate the outstanding service these owners gave to Just Food Co-op!

Penny Hillemann. Penny returns to the board having already served nearly five years as a director. During this last year she has been active as the current VicePresident and was a key member in our


The ComPost

From the General Manager & Board

Food Justice For All Just Food ... it’s not just the name of a store. It is who we are: Just Food, or more specifically Just Food: Northfield Community Co-op. The founders of our co-op very purposefully included Justice as part of its name. Justice was even part of the original logo, represented as a scale of justice with a river forming the balance platform. The founders’ Mission Statement, which became our first Ends Policy, proclaimed, “We will serve all economic and cultural segments of the community.” The next Ends Policy (which forms our vision and states who we are, what we want to do, and how we act) elaborated on the original Mission Statement, stating: “Our community will be justly nourished and strengthened while ensuring the vitality of the Co-op. Our community consists of current and future member-owners, patrons, Just Food staff, producers and vendors within the local foodshed. A justly nourished and strengthened community includes reliable access to good food such as organic, locally raised, environmentally conscious and fair-trade foods and improved economic, social, cultural and ecological conditions.” As the Board reviews our current Ends Policy, we are looking deeply into the four cornerstones that make it up: Justice, Health, Sustainability, and Education. When we reference Justice in our current Ends we say, “We strive for fairness in all our relationships in the community and throughout the supply chain.” So what does justice or fairness mean at Just Food and how is it expressed? That is a complicated question that is never completely answered. We have made efforts with good progress over the last several years to deal fairly with our producers, suppliers and staff which make up a significant portion of our supply chain. The part we haven’t focused too much attention on is the end of the chain: the consumer. Focusing on Justice for the Consumer In the 2013 Rice County Community

December 2016/January 2017

Health Survey, 12.4 percent of county residents reported that in the last 12 months they “often” or “sometimes” worried that their food would run out before they had money to buy more. That is about one in every eight people in Rice County! According to the 2013 Rice County Community Health Survey, 57.4 percent of Latino respondents and 84.0 percent of Somali respondents reported that in the last 12 months they “often” or “sometimes” worried that their food would run out before they had money to buy more. How should Just Food respond to the presence of these “economic and cultural segments in the community” that form part of our founding mission of service? We often hear that shopping at Just Food is expensive, and some have referred to Just Food as a boutique grocery store. How large is the obstacle that Just Food presents to people who face insecurity in their food supply? Jerry Huddleston, our new General Manager, recently conducted an affordability study called The SNAP Challenge—SNAP being the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps). Just Food Co-op came within $9.14 of achieving the goal of two people being able to buy groceries to feed themselves for one month depending totally on SNAP’s allotment of $357.00. Although achieving this level of success required strict portion control, it did provide a varied and very healthy diet. All ingredients were priced at standard shelf prices. While no discounts, coupons, or other cost-saving measures were used, the Co+op Basics program (which provides everyday low prices) was crucial in achieving affordability. The results of the SNAP Challenge give us a high level of confidence that financially vulnerable shoppers can count on Just Food Co-op as a primary source for monthly food purchases.

Doug Hiza Board Member Co-op Member

Jerry Huddleston General Manager Co-op Member

WIC Certification and Our Product Policy This is encouraging and is a good start. It depends, though, on shop-


...continued: Food Justice for All pers having money or other “legal tender” accepted by Just Food. SNAP has an electronic benefit (i.e. a cash card) that Just Food accepts. But what about women who live in poverty and who are pregnant or who have infants? If they are found to be eligible for food benefits in the WIC (Women and Infant Children) program, they are issued food vouchers. WIC vouchers can only be used at WIC certified grocery stores (and at farmer’s markets for produce). For a store to be WIC certified, there is a list of products the store must carry. For Just Food that creates a couple of problems. First is shelf space, for there are some products that we don’t carry now that would have to be “squeezed” into our current set. This will be less of an issue when our upcoming expansion adds more space. The second, and more controversial, is that some of the products we would be required to carry, while meeting the minimum of our Product Policies, would come from conventional producers. If we were to become a WIC provider we would have to stock some foods that we might not consider to be healthy, environmentally sustainable products. However, the good news is that WIC certification also allows people to buy organics—not in all categories, but in many, including fresh produce, non-RBSt dairy, bulk rice and legumes, peanut butter, etc. And so the big question becomes this: Do we become a WIC certified store and make some compromises about the brands we would carry, or do we accept that we are unable to help women and children in poverty who, through no choice of their own, have to accept WIC vouchers to make ends meet? These women don’t have a choice of just not “going on WIC.” It is often the only source of “money” they have to feed their children. Some have argued that Just Food’s


participation in WIC would in a sense be a double standard—good, healthy food for those who can afford it and some “bad,” unhealthy food for women and children in poverty. Yet are we not already perpetrating a double standard of serving those with enough money to afford the food at Just Food while being unable to help those who shop with WIC vouchers? According to Jerry, WIC vouchers would cover all of our Produce Department and a sizable portion of the Bulk Foods department. It appears that the main change to our product mix would be the addition of five boxed cereals and an additional line of baby food. So for a small change, we could have a huge impact both in store sales and in the lives of these women and children. Making It Work So, is there a reasonable compromise? We think there can be. Several Minnesota co-ops (the Wedge, Seward, People’s, Duluth Whole Foods and others) are WIC certified. They stock what is required but clearly label it as WIC certified and note if it isn’t consistent with their store’s Product Policy. That provides all shoppers the information they need to make choices as to whether they want to buy those products. It also allows WIC participants to shop at the co-op and buy other products that are healthier than those they have available to them now. There are other things we can do to encourage people who are food-insecure to shop at Just Food to meet their needs. Jerry points out that we almost met the dollars allowed by SNAP by doing very careful menu planning and shopping. The SNAP program provides support to help stretch the household food budget. It is not intended to meet all of the household’s food needs. It is a supplement. Some co-ops provide additional discounts for those

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having financial need to help their SNAP or WIC benefits go further to buy good and healthy food. The Wedge offers one example of an approach to food justice through their Co-op Affordability Project (CAP). All Wedge owners who have financial need (owners currently enrolled in WIC, SNAP, SSDI/SSI, Section 8 Housing, Refugee Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), or Minnesota Care) are eligible for an everyday CAP discount of 10% applied automatically each time they’re at the register. CAP is designed to reduce the cost barriers to healthful eating and provide solutions that don’t sacrifice their values or their budget. That discount is received on top of other store specials. To make ownership more accessible, shoppers can become owners with an initial investment of just $10. The remaining purchase price of co-op stock is accrued over time through their annual patronage refund earnings.

neighbors in need. Let us bring food justice to all. Cooperatively Written by: Doug Hiza, Board Member & Jerry Huddleston, General Manager

Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth has been WIC certified since the 1990s. They deal with carrying WIC-required foods by placing the bare minimum of those required items in non-optimal locations. Their product purchasing policies are framed in positive rather than negative terms (“We give preference to…”), so the WIC items they are required to carry don’t violate those guidelines. It is clear that other cooperatives have found ways to help those in their communities who face food insecurity. We believe that Just Food Co-op can as well. We need to begin the conversation about what food justice means for all of us, and what we as a cooperative are willing to do to help those of us in need. Store management is confident that we could be ready to be WIC certified by the end of January 2017. This affords us ample time to hear owner input, have those important conversations, and come to a decision that is appealing to our member-owners. Please give us your thoughts and feedback, and let’s discuss what we can do for our

December 2016/January 2017


REGISTERING FOR CLASSES Pre-registration is required for classes. You may register online or at our store at our customer service desk. Class fee(s) are due at time of registration. Registration closes 48 hours prior to the class. Visit for more information and to register. In store Education Opportunity: Friday, December 9 from 11a-1p Try local Fierce Ferments fermented goodies and learn all about how they benefit your gut.


Controlling Inflammation: The Great Lymphatic System

Do you know what your body is telling you when you experience – heat, swelling, redness, or pain? This class will look at the three main reasons for inflammation and what you can do about it. Discussion will address the lymphatic system, blood markers, and how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet that promotes healing in the body. This class is being held at Greenvale Park Community School. Thursday, December 15......6:00-7:30 p.m. Cost: Free! In store Education Opportunity: Monday, December 19 from 11a-1p Herbalism with Luann! LuAnn will talk about herbs to use throughout Winter to stay warm, cozy, and healthy! In store Education Opportunity: Thursday, December 22 from 11a-1p Stop by Just Food Co-op to sample some amazing food and spices combinations that will add jazz to any holiday meal!

Food as Medicine: Nutrition for Pain Management Group

Dealing with chronic and acute inflammation can be challenging and the most effective treatment can be unclear. Join us for an open discussion and sharing group to learn different recipes, ways of eating that work for you AND the family, and how to utilize food to assist in managing pain and inflammation. This is a safe space to share and receive openly in the spirit of community and support. Saturday, January 21......10-11:30 a.m. Cost: Free!

InstantPot Cooking Party

Join us for new healthy dinner ideas using the InstantPot electric pressure cooker! We will be demonstrating time-saving recipes using the InstantPot that you will be able to replicate at home with any pressure cooker. If you are NEW to the electric pressure cooker craze, this class is for you! Taught by employees that love their InstantPots and love to cook! Thursday, January 26..........6:00-7:30 p.m. Cost: $7 Member; $10 Non-Member

Learning to Live Waste Free

Now is a time when environmental responsibility has never been more crucial to the wellbeing and sustainability for future generations and ecosystems. Join us at Just Food Co-op to learn how to reduce waste and create a more sustainable lifestyle. This class will provide a safe, discussion based learning environment for community to share their experience with limiting their contributions to the “land-full”. Lauren Haberman will be guiding the discussion of the class, while sharing her experience of living a completely waste-free lifestyle in N. Minneapolis. Thursday, January 5......6:00-7:30 p.m. Cost: Free!


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Holiday Sampler Day

Saturday, December 10 from 10:00am-1:00pm Stoke Coffee Four Elements Tea Rio Star Grapefruit Satsumas Rainforest Crisp with Persimmons Young Mountain Tea Flavor Sensations Rochdale Sassy Grassy Beer Cheese Soup Wild Rice Salad Essential Oils and Diffusers

Great Gift Ideas. Great Holiday Entertaining Tips.

Holiday Hours Saturday, December 24 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Sunday, December 25 CLOSED Saturday, December 31 8:00 am to 9:00 pm Sunday, January 1 CLOSED

December 2016/January 2017


Happy Birthday Just Food! Come and celebrate our TWELVTH Birthday on Thursday, December 15! Members, we will be unwrapping a great birthday treat for you that day! There will be cake over the lunch hour, while supplies last!

As we reflect on the last several years, and as Just Food celebrates it’s twelvth birthday and heads into it’s thirteeth year of service to this community, we are grateful. We are grateful to the small group of individuals that had a vision for a fair model of compensation and distribution for our farming communities, for justice in food distribution, for the knowledge that a thriving co-op would give back to the community in tangible and intagible ways. We see all of those points played out daily as employees of Just Food. Thank you for trusting us and empowering us to grow. Thank you for your continued support monetarily and for being our cheerleaders and our harshest critics. It’s how we grow and we hope that you feel valued and heard! We value your friendships, your stories and your support. Here’s to many more years of service to our community and beyond!


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Give the Gift of Membership - One Time Investment! Member Name 1: ����������������������������������������������������������� (Other members of the household are welcome to use the member number)

Street address: ������������������������������������������������������������� City: ����������������������������������������������������������������������� State: ____ Zip:__________ Phone: �������������������������������������������� Email: ��������������������������������������������������������������������� Would you like to receive the weekly email updates? __Yes __No I agree to buy 1 Class A (voting) share for $25.00 and 20 Class B (non-voting) shares at $5.00 each in the Just Food: Northfield Community Co-op (the Co-op) for a total of $125.00. I understand that this application is subject to acceptance by the Board of Directors of the Co-op and that my membership is subject to the Co-op Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and membership provisions. I have received a copy of the Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws and acknowledge the statement of membership provisions. I am paying for these shares as follows: ____ $125 payment in full with this application. ____ $  25 down payment + $10 processing fee ($35 total initial payment), with a $25 payment quarterly for a total of $135 (1 year payment option). ____Other terms arranged on request. ���������������������������������������� Please tell us how you learned about the Co-op: ������������������������������ ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� Referred by: ���������������������������������������������������������������� Member #1 Signature: ������������������������������������������������������ Member #2 Signature:������������������������������������������������������� Date: ���������������������������������������������������������������������� Please give this application to a cashier or send it along with your payment to:

516 Water Street S Northfield, MN 55057 507-650-0106

December 2016/January 2017


Member Name 2:�����������������������������������������������������������


516 Water Street S Northfield, MN 55057 507-650-0106

Thank you to our customers and community for supporting us for the past 12 years! We look forward to serving you for many more. Happy Holidays from the staff at Just Food!

ComPost Dec16/Jan17  

Just Food Co-op's bi-monthly publication.

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