MFC COVID-19 Update 3/23/20
Governor Whitmer announced the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order during a press conference today, March 23. The shelter-in-place directive orders the state’s nearly 10 million residents to avoid all nonessential travel and to remain at home to avoid the further spread of COVID-19. Nonessential businesses will close until April 13.
This executive order excludes grocery stores, which are considered essential to the economy. Our staff have been working so hard through this crisis to serve you. We cannot praise or thank them enough. These are trying times. Please remember that a smile and a thank you can go a long way to making everyone around us feel better – and yourself as well!
We intend to keep on providing good food to the community. How we do that will look a little different. In response to this statewide order, the following policies will be put in place.
More Strict Social Distancing Measures
Starting tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 24, only 25 customers and necessary staff will be allowed in the store at one time. Customers should be prepared to wait outside if necessary. We will be installing plexiglass barriers at our register lanes as an extra precaution.
Reduced Store Hours
Also starting tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 24, the store hours will be 10am-7pm. We will be extending our curbside grocery pickup service, please see below for details.
Co-op Grocery Pickup Adjustments
Co-op Grocery Pickup (curbside only) hours will be extended. Curbside pickup will be available from 7am-8:30pm starting Tuesday, with that being the sole option from 7-10am and 7-8:30pm. In-store pickup will be available from 10am-7pm. This will allow staff more breaks and reduce person-to-person contact.
We are not yet able to fill consumer needs by strictly doing only online orders, but we are working to significantly increase our capacity for grocery pickup. By opening late and closing early, we will be able to offer better online fulfillment service, minimize contact, and continue to serve everyone.
In our previous announcement, we stated that only prepayment would be allowed for Co-op Grocery Pickup. Unfortunately, there is not a way to accept EBT (Bridge cards) payments online. In order to allow equitable access to food, we will allow EBT users to come into the store during hours of curbside only service so they can pay for their groceries. Reminder: the $20 daily voucher limit for Double Up Food Bucks Coupons has been lifted!
Cash vs. Cards
We will be minimizing cash transactions starting tomorrow, March 24. To ensure access for customers for whom cash is the only option, we will keep one lane open for cash payments. Signage will be made to denote said lane, and all others will be marked as card payments only.
We are working on packaging our bulk items to make them safer for the public. You’ll see changes throughout the next few days as we move forward with this project. This includes shutting down the RO water machine.
Milk Bottle Returns
We stand by our restriction on deposit bottle returns. We will, however, make an exception for local returnable milk bottles. These will need to be accepted or else our local vendor will run out of containers to bottle milk.
This is reasonably different than beer and soda as people are generally not drinking straight out of the bottle. We will also protect staff by having customers handle the placement of the milk bottles themselves. Dairy crates will be stationed near the front of the store that customers can place the bottles in themselves.