MFC COVID-19 Update 3/20/20
MFC Update 3/20/20
While it is hard to predict the exact path that the COVID-19 crisis will take, it is safe to assume that things will get worse before they better. As such, your Co-op has plans in place to roll with the punches and accommodate our earliest intentions during this time period. Our goals include:
1. Do our best to keep staff and shoppers safe and healthy.
2. Keep store operations solvent and sustained.
3. Communicate openly and clearly with all stakeholders about our plans and actions.
I’ll try not to repeat previous updates and I apologize for length. What follows are actions that are in place, will happen soon, or are being planned for potential implementation.
• We secured (just enough) N95 masks for our staff who come in close contact with shoppers. They may wear them at their choice currently, but when there is a confirmed case of the virus in Marquette County, the masks are mandatory. Because of the nature of their work on the frontlines of this pandemic, they need to be protected.
• Our suppliers are still under strain but we, and our national association, are working with them to get store stock levels back to normal. This will take some time and is an effort by both stores and the distributors to level things out. We are finding some substitutes and will eventually catch up. You can help too. We recommend buying only what you need.
• We are contracting with ServPro of the Upper Peninsula to do additional sanitizing (to our own effort) of the store after hours, twice a week. Public space/surface areas and staff work surfaces are targeted.
• When the virus becomes known locally, we have measures ready for implementation to reduce store hours for customers in order to do more webstore (shop.marquettefood.coop) grocery order picking in the early mornings. Thank you for your patience while we work to make our systems more robust to handle the rapidly increasing use of our online ordering system.
• When the virus becomes known locally, we will be limiting the number of customers in the store at a single time to 30 to support recommended social distancing. Until such time, we all rely on one another to be responsible for our safe distancing.
• We intend to keep all staff gainfully employed, help them when they can’t work to find state or federal program support, and remain flexible with them while they navigate their lives outside of the store.
• As our Deli program slows down, we are transitioning some kitchen staff into other parts of the store where this continuing crisis has created more demand on staffing, such as cleaning and sanitizing, stocking shelves, and picking online grocery orders.
• The Fair Food Network has removed the $20 limit on vouchers under the Double Up Food Bucks Program. This will remove a barrier so that Bridge Card users to stock up on healthy food while they stay home.
• Should it come to the extreme of not allowing customers into the store for a period, we are preparing to become a micro fulfillment center (MFC!) and will process webstore grocery orders only for pick up. Maybe even offering delivery.
That’s the news from this front. More to come. Please know we remain committed to being here for you. And thank a staff member on the floor (but not too closely)! They are working very hard and are an inspiration in trying times.