What is Membership?
Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...
When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.
One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!
Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.
By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.
Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:
- Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
- Paying a livable wage
- Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
- Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
- Offering health insurance to employees
- Donating to local charities and events
- Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
- Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 18:46
By Alexis Alexander,
If you've been thinking about getting more involved in the Co-op, you couldn't pick a better time! We currently have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available. Of particular note is a large number of weekly in-store super-worker shifts that need to be filled in order to adequately support our retail departments. For those looking for monthly committee work, occasional event work, or volunteer options to help with GreenStar Community Projects, our nonprofit affiliate, we've got opportunities for you, too!
Volunteering is an important co-op tradition that provides member-owners the opportunity to become actively involved in supporting GreenStar's mission. It's a great way for us, as member-owners, to connect with one another while supporting the business that we mutually own and help govern. Volunteering also provides a great member-owner benefit, earning each participant a higher discount at the register.
What is the commitment and what do I get in return?
In-store super-workers are assigned a regular weekly two-hour shift in a specific department. The shift is scheduled for the same day and time each week. For every two-hour shift worked, super-workers receive a 17.5 percent discount, good for one week.
Generally, we ask for a four-month commitment for super-worker shifts out of respect for the time it takes department staff to train super-workers. However, during the summertime, we sometimes accommodate shorter commitments for certain shifts, so it's worth asking us if you can take a shift for just 2 to 3 months.
How to volunteer?
All available super-worker shifts are posted at the Member Center in both the West-End and Dewitt Mall locations. To request a super-worker shift, simply choose one or two shifts on the board that work for you and fill out a Member Labor Request Form. You will then receive a call from the relevant store. We fill super-worker shifts on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, it's a good idea to request more than one shift since other member-owners may be in line before you for a given shift.
What if I'm looking for a more occasional shift, or would prefer helping out at GreenStar events?
If you enjoy committee work, you can volunteer to serve as a Member-at-Large on a Council committee. Committees meet monthly for two hours, which will earn you a 10 percent discount for four weeks. If you're interested in becoming a Member-at-Large committee member, fill out the Council Committee application available at the Member Center and return it to the Customer Service Desk at the West-End store. A member of Council will contact you about your application.
Alternatively, if you prefer occasional event work, we can put you on a call list to help out at GreenStar member-owner events or events sponsored by our nonprofit affiliate, GreenStar Community Projects (GSCP). While we can't guarantee how often we'll need help, putting your name on our event call list is the best way to participate periodically with Co-op projects and earn a super-worker discount for one week. Simply request to have your name added to the event call list on a Member Labor Request form, or call the Membership Department at 607.273.2507, x 234.
Are there any other opportunities to volunteer for GreenStar Community Projects other than occasional event work?
GSCP's mission is to build a local food system that's just and robust and supports the earth! They are working on this with participation from members of all communities — volunteers are essential pillars for this work. Currently, GreenStar Community Projects is planning future activities, so more opportunities will become available to help support the essential Food Justice work of the organization, both through regular Board and committee work, as well as occasional event work. Look for future announcements about upcoming opportunities at the Member Center, in GreenLeaf, and on their website, or indicate this as a preference on the Member Labor Request form, and we'll pass it on to GSCP.
Now's Your Chance!
If you'd like to become more actively involved in your co-op and further support GreenStar's mission of promoting sustainable, healthy food, living wages, social and environmental justice, and a strong local economy, check out the Member Center board soon!
We have lost one of the world's passionate defenders of the right to food. ... Mandela understood that a hungry man, woman or child could not be truly free.
— General José Graziano da Silva, Director, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.
By Joe Romano, Marketing Manager