Park Slope Food Coop members may not be able to shop like they used to, but the grocery is in a stronger position to weather the pandemic because it can depend on them.
The fabled low-priced grocery store is asking its 17,000 members to pitch in during tough times by increasing their investment as part-owners.
Tasks normally performed by members, like stocking, cleaning, packing food and working the checkout, have been filled by 55 temporary paid workers to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Most are members who now work full-time to keep the 47-year-old operation running.
The organization, which has applied for federal small-business loans and a line of credit from its bank, has an additional pool of support: its die-hard members.
“It’s a tremendous strength,” said Ann Herpel, a general coordinator who has worked there for nearly 20 years. “That you have these member-owners who understand the nature of cooperatives and that they have an ownership stake so they have an interest in its financial stability.”
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