Co-op deserves community resolve to increase shopping

BRATTLEBORO — Recently, I learned that the Brattleboro Food Co-op is facing some financial challenges, including perhaps staff layoffs. Revenues are down because many people have decided not to shop there because of being asked for money in an aggressive way in the Flat Street parking lot, on the Whetstone pathway, or in the Co-op parking lot.

The Co-op is working hard with the town on some possible solutions to this problem. which is caused by only a few of the panhandlers.

I also had been shopping less at the Co-op but I decided that I needed to commit to being a regular shopper there. I value the Coop and don't want to lose it. It made a major commitment to that end of downtown by building the new store there and partnering with Windham and Windsor Housing Trust to build housing above the market.

The Co-op places a value on hiring people in early recovery, and it offers discounts to various groups of people to make their organic food more affordable.

An empty store there would be a disaster! Employees would lose jobs and people in apartments and houses in downtown would not have a grocery store to which they could walk.

In the last two weeks, while shopping there, I have not been.approached by anyone, and today very few people were using the pathway. I am hopeful that the situation is improving.

I urge anyone who is able to shop more frequently at the Co-op. Let's not abandon this store due to the behavior of a few.

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