Co-op Fosters Community Volunteering

One of the 7 principles that co-ops adhere to is “concern for community.” One way City Market, Onion River Co-op shows their “concern for community” is through their member worker program. Members can volunteer time in exchange for a discount: 2 hours a month results in a 7% discount and 4 hours a month results in a 12% discount. This program has tremendous impact on the Burlington, Vermont community which the co-op serves. In fiscal year 2014, 11,823 volunteer hours were completed at the co-op’s community outreach partner organizations (a growing group of 15 organizations), which equates to 5.68 full time employment positions.

Currently, City Market offers member work opportunities both in the store and in the community. Of the hours that members volunteered, in fiscal year 2014, 58.39% were done in the community. The co-op’s goal is to move all member work into community organizations by June 30, 2015. Not only will this help the co-op create several new paid positions in the store, it will also provide invaluable, additional volunteers for community organizations doing amazing work to create a better community and strengthen Vermont’s food system and local economy.

Republished with permission from City Market/Onion River Co-op.