Update from the Board Chair

Hello everyone, my name is Kelly Allen and I am the board chair of our Bethlehem Food Co-Op. So, it's been a little over a month since Lehigh Valley has felt the significant disruptions both socially and economically of Covid-19, and while I know that many of us are still trying to make sense of our day-to-day lives, I thought I'd just take a few moments to share with you some exciting things that are happening with our co-op. You can also find this as a video announcement here.

The first is yesterday we received the first draft of the lease from the developers, and our negotiation team, along with legal counsel, is looking at it and they plan to provide feedback on that draft soon. So the lease negotiation is a process that I don't anticipate will take very long from this point and as soon as we see that this is a relationship that will work well for both our co-op and for the developers, we will go ahead and sign that lease and after that point that is when the exciting part comes. And we will share with you all the address of our co-op's new home.

So after we have done our site announcement that is when we will get engaged and what I believe is going to be the most significant part of our co-op's development, and that is the capital campaign. I do not know if I can emphasize enough how important it is that this be a team effort, like this is where everyone in our co-op needs to get involved and get behind this thing. You should be receiving some information about this campaign in the next couple of weeks, so I ask that you please take some time to look it over and ask questions, provide feedback and just most importantly, please get involved.

Once the capital campaign is complete and our doors open, I cannot wait to shop with you all at our co-op and to just share - sharing the experience of the beauties of our local food system.

And speaking of our local food system, just yesterday we received a video from Becky and Johnny, member-owners 421 - it's a video of their experience shopping within our local food system.

They walk us through the process of ordering and picking up food from Crooked Row Farm Market, out on 309 North. I believe it's about 20 minutes from downtown Bethlehem. So please take a look at that video and enjoy, as I know that all of us who have seen it already have, and please know that we're going to be putting or distributing some more videos like this to help others navigate other elements of our local food system during these times.

So the last thing that I would like to share with you all is a poem. So this is something that was an email to me from an English faculty at Lehigh University, and it's something that I feel really kind of - well it obviously resonates with this time. It's called "And the People Stayed Home" by Kitty O'Meara:

And the people stayed home and read books and listened and rested and exercised and made art and played games and learned new ways of being and were still and listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced, some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed and in the absence of people living in ignorance, dangerous, mindless and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed and the people joined together again they grieved their losses and made new choices and dreamed new images and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

So as we all heal together and just navigate these, what are quite often these very confusing times, please know that your co-op is here for you.

So if there's anything that you need from us please feel free to reach out, and as I said before, just please feel free to get involved. Until next time, take care and be well.

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