Medford Cooperative steps up to help community
Medford Cooperative is giving back to the community it serves during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Medford Cooperative Cares COVID-19 Community Assistance Program has provided the community and employees more than $141,000 in support since the start of the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created trying times for many and the Medford Cooperative is always looking for ways to help support our community, our schools, our farmers, or other businesses,” said Chip Courtney, general manager of the Medford Cooperative. He noted this has been an integral part of the company’s culture and belief since it was founded in 1911.
The program has included things such as food assistance and waiving of fees for some services. Ways the program has helped the community include:
_ Online grocery shopping started in October 2018 and had a picking fee for orders under $100. On March 17, as online orders increased at a rapid pace due to Safer at Home orders, the picking fee was eliminated as a way to help ensure community. From March 17 through May 31, online shoppers saved over $9,500 in picking fees.
_ COVID-19 Helping Hand bags, similar to the Helping Hand bags created around Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, are a way for the community to help others and provide for the local food pantries. The $10 bags are available for purchase in-store and online. For each bag purchased, the Medford Cooperative will match another bag. The goal is to sell 500 bags, with an estimated match to be $5,000.
_ To support of local restaurants, beginning on Friday, June 12, the first 300 customers that came to Medford County Market and showed their receipt (minimum $10 purchase) from a local restaurant (dated Friday, June 12 or later) received a $10 Medford County Market gift card. The amount donated was $3,000.
_ To help schools, local families and dairy farmers, the Medford Cooperative partnered with several local schools to provide families with dairy products. #DairyStrong
_ Partnered with the Medford FFA and other local businesses on three donations to the Medford School District lunch program totaling $5,500.
_ Presented Rib Lake School District Lunch Program with a gallon of milk and a block of cheese for each family, totaling over $700.
_ Provided Gilman School District lunch program with a gallon of milk and a block of cheese, totaling over $800.
Courtney said they are currently looking at other school districts in the trade territory that we can assist as well and plan to contribute approximately $5,000 more.
_ They partnered with Medford FFA on milk gift certificates for the local food pantries, totaling about $600.
In addition to working with the community, the Medford Cooperative salutes its employees who worked through the pandemic.
“Our employees (aka Superheroes) were deemed essential during this time, not only by our company and the community, but also the government,” Courtney said.
“In early March, when we held our annual Employee Appreciation Week with a Superhero theme and had no idea how accurate the theme would be. We believe our employees are always superheroes, but little did we know, they would utilize their superpowers more than ever to step up and provide for our community during the COVID pandemic. We can’t thank our Superheroes enough, but have been able to provide them with the following as a token of our appreciation.”
As a way to let their superhero employees know that they appreciate them, Medford Cooperative has provided three bonuses totaling nearly $100,000.
During the week of July 13, they will implement ‘Help another Superhero.’ They will provide each employee with two $20 Medford County Market gift cards. One of the gift cards is to thank our employees for their hard work. Our employees will be asked to give the other gift card to another ‘superhero’ in their life. It could be another essential worker, or friends/family that has been displaced during this time - whatever our employees see fit. This will total approximately $8,000 in assistance.
During June Dairy Month, they are supporting dairy farmers and thanking their employees by giving each employee a coupon for a different dairy item each week, estimated total of $3,000.