Fall Immunity

By Katie Valdez/Wellness Manager

Our immune system is comprised of complex biological structures and processes that defend our body against invading viruses, toxins, and bacteria. The most important ways to bolster your immune system year-round is to ensure that you’re consuming a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and regularly exercisingHowever, there are also supplements that can help if you are looking for additional immune support. Here are some of my personal favorites: 

Abiqua Naturals Elderberry Boost (Bend, Oregon)

This herbal tonic is packed full of potent free radical scavenging vitamins and anthocyanins. Elderberries have been used for centuries because of their immune supporting ability, helping maintain health and well-being.  

Host Defense Mushrooms Stamets 7 (Olympia, Washington) 

Stamets 7 is a blend of seven different mushrooms that helps build foundational immunity. Each species of mushroom provides its own uniquely supportive properties, all together offering robust support for your immunity. 

Herb Pharm Rapid Immune Boost (Williams, Oregon) 

This fast absorbing blend of Echinacea, Goldenseal, Osha, Black Elderberry and other liquid herbal extracts support a powerful response to immune system distress. 

Herb Pharm immunity boosters are on sale through September 29.

If you have any questions about these products or other wellness department inquires, you can contact Katie at katie@astoria.coop.

Day of Caring

We are gathering essential goods for our community by participating in United Way of Clatsop County’s 2020 Day of Caring on Saturday, September 12th from 9am to 1pm. We will be asking shoppers to donate needed items including non-perishable food which we will bring to a collection site.

The local United Way is working hard to meet the needs of our community and due to the challenges of COVID-19, is coming together in support of United Way Partner Agencies and the people they serve with essential and emergency needs.

You can help by donating the following:

  • Food – Non perishable food items, breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks
  • Dental Care – Toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Personal Care Items – Soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper
  • Safety Items – PPE, face masks (medical of cloth) medical gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes
  • Kids Comfort – Blanket, plush toy, books and games (all items must be new)
  • Baby Care – Diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food, baby clothes (must be new)
  • Pet Care – Pet food, treats and toys
  • Financial Stability – Gas cards, bus passes, grocery store gift card, pre-paid phone
  • Inspirational Cards – Handwritten words of encouragement for students and educators

There will be three official donation drop off locations: Columbia River Maritime Museum, Seaside Factory Outlet Mall and Astoria Ford. Volunteers will be on hand to collect items from your vehicle and give donation receipts. We will deliver all items donated by our shoppers to the Maritime Museum site.

You can also help by rounding up your purchase total to benefit United Way when shopping at the co-op in September. Learn more about our Change for Community program.

Visit www.clatsopunitedway.org for more information about the Day of Caring or to make a direct donation.

It pays to be a co-op owner!

Temporary increase in owner benefits…

Co-op owners can save 10% on a shopping trip every month for the rest of the year starting in September! That is twice as many discounts as previously scheduled. We hope this temporary increase in owner benefits will help you, the co-op and local economy.

We realize times are tough financially for many people and hope more frequent discounts will make it easier to stock up on groceries. Having a whole month to use a discount should prevent the crowding that can occur with our current model of a tiered discount week once per quarter and help ensure enough space for safe physical distancing in the store.

An increase in owner discounts could result in an increase in co-op revenue. Your dollars will help offset costs associated with operating in a pandemic. Hopefully, this will also be a boon to our many local purveyors who have been impacted by the economic downturn.

How it Works

If you are a co-op owner who is up to date on equity payments, it is easy to use your monthly discount shop. In September, October, November and December, simply choose the shopping trip you would like to save on and let a cashier know at checkout that you would like to use your discount. If you are using our curbside pickup program, we can provide you with a discount code to use at checkout. Please contact danny@astoria.coop for more information. Owner discounts apply to items in stock at time of purchase and do not stack with case discounts.

The Future of Owner Benefits

Monthly discounts may not be financially sustainable for the co-op long-term, which is why we are calling this plan “temporary”.  Co-op management will reevaluate after December and could revert to quarterly owner appreciation weeks. The goal will be to balance a tangible owner benefit with the viability of our business. Please keep up to date with changes by reading co-op emails. As a co-op owner, your economic participation is truly needed now more than ever, and we hope you will shop at the co-op regularly in addition to your discount shopping trips. Thank you so much for your support!

Not a co-op owner? It is easy to join and if you do so now, you could save 10% off on a shopping trip every month for the rest of 2020! Click here for more information about co-op ownership.

Record Donation

We raised a record amount—nearly $4K—in just a month for Consejo Hispano (formerly Lower Columbia Hispanic Council). Our cashier Mason who raised more than $600 himself presented our giant check to council reps. Big thanks to our generous community for rounding up!

“Community donations allow Consejo Hispano to respond to the diverse and sometimes emergency needs of the Latinx community that aren’t covered by our grant funding. For example, donations in March, April and May of this year allowed us to buy and distribute over 1000 fabric face masks, hand sanitizer and other basic needs that families and individuals didn’t have access to during the start of COVID-19,” Consejo Hispano Executive Director Jenny Pool Radway said.

Consejo Hispano’s mission is the equitable integration of resident Hispanics into the broader social and economic fabric of the Lower Columbia community.

In addition to monetary donations, there are other ways to get involved including volunteering. If you’re interested, click here to fill out an interest form. You can follow Consejo Hispano on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on events you can participate in.

Through our Change for Community program, we’ve raised $43,864.28 in cash donations for local non-profits. Learn more…

Takeout Expands

If you need a break from cooking, made to order hot food is available for lunch and dinner. Our trusty kitchen crew recently reopened the service counter seven days a week from 11am–6pm.

Chef Andy Catalano says his “bowls of the world” menu includes fun, energetic flavors of Korean, Indian, Levantine, Mexican and South East Asian cuisine.

Everything is made in-house from scratch with 100% organic produce. Our cooks use the same high product standards as the rest of the store. You won’t find things like artificial sweeteners, trans-fats or growth hormones in any of our food.

Made-to-order meals at our service counter (formerly taqueria) were suspended in March; part of a myriad of changes in responses to the pandemic. Our deli focused efforts on grab n’ go sandwiches, salads and heat n’ eat entrees, which are available seven days a week.

Our indoor seating area remains closed; however, outdoor seating is available and there are a number of spots around town for a picnic including Mill Pond Park and the Astoria Riverwalk, just a short walk away.

Click here to see the menu.

Harbor Donation

Thanks to our generous community, we donated a giant check to a local organization that helps survivors of domestic violence. This morning our general manager Matt Stanley presented Harbor Executive Director Terri Steenbergen with $3,476.53 (while maintaining a safe distance of six feet of course).  Our staff raised the money by asking shoppers to round up their purchase totals to the next dollar in June.

The Harbor is a local non-profit that provides advocacy, prevention and support for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. This donation is especially timely as domestic violence calls have increased, but fortunately there’s been an outpouring of support locally since the pandemic began.

“I think it is really important for survivors, even from a non-monetary perspective, to see that there is support for them in the community. Knowing that you are not alone and that someone believes you is so important when you’re in an isolating, abusive relationship, and so to have that community support is critical,” Steenbergen said.

Donations assist the Harbor in getting survivors out of unsafe situations, providing shelter, food, transportation and anything else needed. The Harbor’s crisis line (503) 325-5735 is active 24/7.

This donation is part of Change for Community, a program by which the co-op has been able to raise nearly $40,000 to donate to local non-profits.

Service Counter Reopens

Now serving lunch Monday–Thursday, 10am–2pm

We’re bringing back the co-op’s deli service counter and using the hiatus as an opportunity to reinvent our offering. Chef Andy Catalano says he wanted to do some sort of mash up of our past hot bar and taqueria offerings. This week he rolled out a new menu that features bowls of the world including Korean, Indian, Levantine, Mexican and South East Asian.

“I wanted to include some of the really popular items from the hot bar and also be able to eat the food I want to eat with fun energetic flavors,” Chef Andy said.

Everything is made in-house from scratch with 100% organic produce. Our cooks use the same high product standards as the rest of the store. You won’t find things like artificial sweeteners, trans-fats or growth hormones in any of our food.

Made-to-order meals at our service counter (formerly taqueria) were suspended in March; part of a myriad of changes in responses to the pandemic. Our deli focused efforts on grab n’ go sandwiches, salads and heat n’ eat entrees, which are available seven days a week.

Our indoor seating area remains closed; however, outdoor seating is available and there are a number of spots around town for a picnic including Mill Pond Park and the Astoria Riverwalk, just a short walk away.

If all goes well with reopening the service counter, Chef Andy is hoping to expand lunches to seven days in the not too distant future.

Click here to see the menu.

Mask Update

The state of Oregon is now mandating everyone wear masks, face coverings or face shields in public places.

We want to thank everyone for the overwhelming support of our safety practices since the pandemic began. We had to make adjustments along the way and you’ve been right there with us adhering to the new rules as they come along.

Our latest move is to require all people over two years of age who enter the co-op to wear a face covering (scarf, mask, face shield) without exceptions. Our greeters and management are strictly enforcing this 100% face covering rule for the co-op. Unfortunately, we started to see too many people without masks claiming a medical reason for being unable to do so. It began to make staff and other customers feel unsafe.

For individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, or for folks who are unwilling to wear a face covering, we are offering a reasonable accommodation by way of our free online shopping platform. It is getting rave reviews from customers and gives access to all items that the co-op sells inside the store. We also have some face shields available, please ask our greeter.

We continue to diligently sanitize all high-touch surfaces throughout the building. Co-op employees undergo a health screening before each shift and we are exercising an abundance of caution when staff members feel unwell.  Our HVAC systems are operating with air scrubbers that use UV lights and ionization technology to sanitize the air while it recirculates with the dampers fully open (so fresh air is continuously brought in). Be sure to try our hand washing machines as you enter the store too. And, of course, masks do no not replace physical distancing, so please continue to maintain six feet from co-op staff and shoppers.

Thanks for your understanding during this challenging time. Together we can continue to make the co-op as safe as possible for all your healthy food needs!

General Manager Matt Stanley can be reached at matt@astoria.coop.

Round up for Hispanic Council

The Lower Columbia Hispanic Council’s mission is the equitable integration of resident Hispanics into the broader social and economic fabric of the Lower Columbia community. The council is this month’s Change for Community recipient. Round up your purchase total or share your pocket change to support this local organization.

The council provides services and coordinates cultural events. Funds will go toward the council’s ongoing operations including but not limited to SNAP education and outreach, OHP enrollment, health education, census assistance, family engagement at schools, youth programs, civic engagement and advocacy.

Let’s raise funds for this awesome organization!

Click here to go to the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council’s web site.

Click here to learn more about our Change for Community program.

Shop Mercato.com