March 2021

Celebrate Earth Day!

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, marking the 51st anniversary of the very first Earth Day celebration in 1970! According to, 20 million Americans (representing 10% of the total population of the United States at that time) took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums on that first Earth Day to advocate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Earth Day celebrations have continued to grow in scope and magnitude since that day in 1970 as the awareness of climate change and the dire need for environmental advocacy has become ever more apparent. 

Food co-ops have been looking for ways to reduce environmental impact for decades. In fact, many co-ops were formed by people who wanted access to healthy, delicious food with reduced environmental impact and less waste, and co-ops continue to lead on these issues today. You help co-ops continue this proud tradition every time you choose to shop at one, invest in ownership, or tell a friend about your local food co-op. Here are a few of the ways that co-ops support healthier patterns of production and consumption:

Supporting Local Farmers & Producers

Local products at food co-ops around the country average 21% of total co-op sales, compared with a national grocery store average of just 1.8%. Here at your Co-op, we’re extremely proud to report that 34% of our sales come from local products, thanks to our partnerships with more than 400 local farmers and food producers! Supporting these local farmers and producers with your food dollars helps to decrease environmental impact by reducing the fossil fuel consumption and air pollution associated with transporting foods over long distances. At the average chain supermarket, most of the food items you buy travel over 1500 miles to reach your plate via lengthy truck and plane trips. This not only causes massive fuel consumption and pollution but also involves the need for packing and shipping facilities and refrigeration throughout the supply chain, consuming vast amounts of energy. The more food miles collected during food transportation, the more fossil fuels are burned, allowing more harmful greenhouse gas emissions to be released into the atmosphere.


Supporting Organic

Nationwide, co-op shoppers demonstrate an inspiring commitment to the environment, with organic sales at co-ops totaling over $415 million annually. Organic farming methods have been scientifically validated  as being not only more sustainable but a potential answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems. On average more than 33% of the products co-ops carry are USDA Certified Organic and represent 42% of a co-op’s total sales, compared with a national grocery store average of just 5%. Certified organic food by law cannot be grown using toxic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMO seeds. Beyond the benefit to individual shoppers is the positive impact organic agriculture has on natural systems. Organic methods are supportive of all levels of life from soil microbes to pollinators to the health of farmworkers in the fields.


Tackling Food Waste

Spoilage is a perennial challenge for the food industry. Diverting food from the landfill is the key, and co-ops tackle that through donations to food pantries, composting, and better utilization of cooking scraps. Nationally, the average food co-op is donating 24,100 pounds of healthy, edible food to food pantries annually, with a total of more than 1.5 million pounds of food donated in 2016 alone. Similarly-sized conventional grocery stores divert an average of 12,500 pounds, about half of what co-ops do. Here at your Co-op, food waste reduction is a particular passion and we’re proud to have donated over 6,500 pounds of food to our local food shelves last year. Non-marketable foods that are not fit for human consumption are passed along to local farmers who pick up our compost regularly to feed their animals. The remaining food scraps that aren’t fit for animal consumption (coffee grounds, meat scraps, etc.) are picked up by Casella Waste Management and become compost. These practices support our planet by reducing the significant greenhouse gas emissions associated with food scraps entering a landfill and by making the most of the energy expenditure that went into producing those food items in the first place. 

Promoting Reuse and Recycling

According to a 2012 Impact Study, co-ops recycle 96 percent of cardboard, 74 percent of food waste, and 81 percent of plastics compared to 91 percent, 36 percent, and 29 percent, respectively, recycled by conventional grocers. Your Co-op understands that recycling isn’t the panacea we all once believed it to be, so we’ve doubled down on our efforts to reuse and upcycle as many items as possible. We dedicated the Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 issues of our Under the Sun newsletter to this important topic, complete with a map in the 2019 edition centerfold highlighting all of the items throughout the store that are reused either by local farmers and producers (apple crates, delivery boxes, maple syrup buckets, and honey buckets) or by customers (spice scoops, egg cartons, product delivery boxes, etc.). We also installed a cardboard bailer to allow us to minimize the number of trips required by Casella to pick up our recycled cardboard and we’re constantly exploring new ways to offer products without packaging. 

Supporting Sustainable Infrastructure

Buildings have direct environmental impacts, ranging from the use of raw materials for their construction and renovation to the consumption of natural resources, like water and fossil fuels, and the emission of harmful substances. When your Co-op expanded in 2017, significant efforts were made to minimize the environmental impact of the physical store. We prioritized the integrity of the building “envelope” to ensure a high level of control over indoor air quality, temperature, humidity levels, and energy consumption. We also made every effort to use sustainable building materials, installed LED and solar lighting throughout the building and parking lot, and integrated hyper-efficient refrigeration systems. The efficiency of refrigeration systems has a critical impact on a store’s carbon footprint, as refrigeration can account for as much as a third of a typical grocery store’s electricity usage and the refrigerants used in refrigeration systems have a greenhouse warming potential many thousand times that of carbon dioxide. Therefore, reducing refrigerant leaks and carefully maintaining refrigeration systems can have a significant impact. 

While we truly believe Earth Day should be celebrated every day, we love having a specific day set aside to honor our incredible planet and we enjoy the conversation it inspires with regard to environmental sustainability and climate action. People like you make it happen. When you shop at the co-op, your money makes a bigger impact in your local community than at a typical grocery store. At the co-op, your food dollars work to support a robust local economy, a vibrant community, and a healthy environment. Thanks to co-op shopper support, local farmers and producers continue to have a market for their delicious food, organic agriculture continues to grow, local food pantries and nonprofit organizations have a strong partner and together we are making progress towards a fairer food system.

Spotlight on Krin’s Bakery

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Krin’s Bakery from April 1st – 7th and member-owners can enjoy 20% off Krin’s full line of local confections! Read on to learn more about this wonderful woman-owned bakery nestled in the mountains of Huntington, VT.



Krin’s Bakery is the home of artisan baker Krin Barberi. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, then exploring and working for others, Krin opened her own bakery in 2005. Krin’s Bakery makes delicious cookies, cupcakes, and other treats using time-honored recipes and simple, fresh ingredients. Whether in a lunchbox, enjoyed over coffee, or served at a special occasion, Krin’s baked goods celebrate her twin passions for baking and for building community.

Krin’s bakes the treats you love and remember—chocolate cupcakes with a thick frosting; chewy cookies in classic flavors and festive shapes; classic Italian biscotti and moist chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons, all baked in their small Huntington, Vermont bakery by a dedicated crew of skilled bakers, using thoughtfully-sourced ingredients from neighboring farms, orchards, and businesses. Their treats are available in local grocery stores and co-ops throughout central and Northern Vermont, and if you’re not lucky enough to live in VT, they ship!

Krin is a passionate local foods activist supporting the cause by working with local distributors, markets, producers, and farmers. She takes her inspiration from her rural New England family’s tradition of supporting and participating in the life of her community. She believes that where our food comes from is important and takes pride in using local Vermont ingredients whenever possible.

It is from this deep sense of community and place that Krin continues to bake love and care into each and every treat.


Spotlight on Bubbies

We’re casting our Member Deals spotlight on a company that’s been making pickles the old-fashioned way for over 30 years – Bubbies! All of Bubbies naturally-fermented pickle products are 20% off for member-owners from March 25th – 31st. Read on to learn more about this company and its humble beginnings:

First founded in 1982 as a hobby project for Leigh Truex, whose presents to relatives and friends of her homemade dill pickles led to their encouragement that she produce the dill pickles commercially, Bubbies has since grown to become the leading brand of refrigerated dill and sweet pickles, sauerkraut, relish, and horseradish in natural food stores nationwide. Under Truex’s tutelage, the company produced delicious naturally-fermented dill pickles but struggled to gain a financial foothold, leading her to sell the struggling company in 1989 to John and Kathy Gray.

The Grays were former bankers and small business owners who breathed new life into the company, expanding the lineup beyond the signature dill pickles, and lending their business and financial acumen to truly build a brand. They rebranded the products to bring us the iconic prominent picture of Bubbie on the label, which they felt evoked what consumers who’d tried the product were saying about it. “Natural, old-world, bringing back the good feelings we had about our families and the home-cooked, wholesome experiences with something that tastes unique, refreshing, and distinctive.”

As John describes the Bubbie persona, “She’s the essence of the kindly Jewish grandmother who happens to be passionate about things like cooking and pickling. She stands for all Old World grannies who pamper their family with wonderful foods they’ve hand made using authentic ingredients and traditional recipes.” Bubbie’s worldly advice is evident in the company’s playful slogan: “Eat My Pickles. Wear Clean Underwear. Marry a Doctor.”

John credits Bubbies success in part to the relationships they’ve built with natural foods stores like our Co-op. “Without the independent grocer and their willingness to innovate—to try new things—and our loyal following of consumers who love our naturally-fermented, wholesome foods we wouldn’t be here today.” relates John.

John has always been a car guy and he always dreamed of having for Bubbies an eye-catching delivery vehicle that would be a “billboard on wheels!” In 1997, he purchased an old, beat-up Chevy delivery wagon at the Goodguys car show in Pleasanton, CA. After months in the shop (and a fresh coat of green paint, of course) the Bubbiemobile 1.0 was on the road, making deliveries all over California. Over the years, the Bubbiemobile has seen its fair share of repairs and facelifts. In 2015, it was completely rebuilt and restored inside and out to its current version. The Bubbiemobile is now an absolute showstopper! The Bubbiemobile can now be seen at car shows as well as global industry events like the Natural Products Expo East and West. Otherwise, look for the Bubbiemobile cruising down the 101 freeway in Ventura or hugging the turns of Pacific Coast Highway. If you see us, roll down your window and say hello…we may have a jar of Bubbies for you!

1953 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery Wagon

After a five-year bout with early-onset Alzheimer’s, Kathy passed away in July of 2011. She and John were the entire staff of Bubbies for over 15 years. Through all the anxiety of Bubbies early years, Kathy never lost hope or had any regrets about leaving the corporate world behind. She once said; “We have to succeed because I am never going back to work for the bank!” Her indomitable spirit touched everyone she knew, whether as a classroom Mom or as President of the Board of Hospice of San Joaquin. She is profoundly missed by her family, friends, and co-workers. Her legacy at Bubbies is seen every day in the way they do business.

Kathy Gray

According to John, “It is hard to believe that over 30 years have passed since my wife Kathy and I set off on our journey with Bubbie. Despite all the difficulties we faced and the challenges we met and overcame in the three decades since, neither of us ever regretted the adventure.”

Be sure to check out Bubbies website for an excellent collection of recipes using their delicious products! And don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Since he began tracking in 1995, John says that he’s received over 1,000 handwritten letters from loyal fans and he loves hearing from Bubbies fans on social media!

Spotlight on Lake Champlain Chocolates

We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight this week on a local favorite – Lake Champlain Chocolates! All of their mouth-watering Fairtrade Certified chocolates are 20% off for member-owners from March 18th – 24th — just in time for the Easter Bunny to stock up! Read on to learn more about this local confectionery that has called Vermont home for almost 40 years and its commitment to responsible sourcing:



The story of Lake Champlain Chocolates began back in 1983 when founder Jim Lampman dared his pastry chef at Burlington’s Ice House Restaurant to create a better truffle than the ones he had been buying for his staff as holiday gifts. Together they began making the most amazing hand-rolled, creamy truffles and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sourcing Matters:

From the very beginning, long before eating local was cool, Lake Champlain Chocolates has been committed to sourcing Vermont-grown ingredients whenever possible. They knew that using high-quality Vermont honey, maple syrup, and fresh dairy from local farmers and producers would result in superior chocolates.

The goal is to bring you their best. To make high-quality chocolate that amazes with exquisite flavor and creates a moment of pure joy. It’s also why they’ve never added preservatives, extenders, or additives, and why they’ve worked diligently to remove GMOs from all of their chocolates and use organic and Fairtrade certified ingredients whenever possible. With each new product, the goal remains the same – to create something special, and to give you the best experience.

Eric Lampman in the Dominican Republic

A Family Affair:

Lake Champlain Chocolates is a second-generation, family-owned business, just like the generations of Vermont family farmers that provide them with fresh butter, cream, maple syrup, and honey. And just like the generations of cacao farmers in places like the Dominican Republic and Guatemala — with whom they have direct partnerships. Today, Jim’s son and daughter, Eric and Ellen, are defining the future of Lake Champlain Chocolates by developing award-winning organic products and spearheading sustainable sourcing initiatives. Along the way following the Lampman family principles: Dare to do better. Always do it with Passion. And do it your way.

Lampman Family

Fair Trade:

Making great-tasting chocolate is hard work and the team at Lake Champlain Chocolates believes that every person in this process should be treated and compensated fairly and that their actions should make a positive impact on local and global communities. When you purchase Fairtrade chocolate, more money goes back to the farmers, allowing them to lift themselves out of poverty and build a better life for their families. It also allows these farmers to invest additional Fairtrade premiums in community development, ensures a ban on forced labor and child labor, and encourages environmentally-sustainable farming practices. Go ahead and indulge your sweet tooth and feel good knowing that 100% of the chocolate they use at Lake Champlain Chocolates is Fairtrade certified.

Why Buy Fairtrade Certified Chocolate?

  •  Farmers and workers are justly compensated and have safe working conditions (this includes prohibiting the use of forced labor and child labor).
  • Farmers are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty and help to build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities.
  • Cocoa farmers and co-ops receive an additional premium for investing in community development.
  • Farming communities develop skills that help them use the free market to their advantage.
  • Farming villages become better stewards of the environment — using sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices to preserve local habitats and increase biodiversity


B Corp Certification:

Lake Champlain Chocolates joined a growing community of more than 2,500 certified B Corporations worldwide who are united under one common goal – to redefine success in business. Rather than focus solely on profits, certified  B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Unlike other certifications that look at individual products, B Corporation evaluates the entire business — assessing the yearly impact on the environment, workers, customers, community, and government.  This new type of corporation is purpose-driven to create benefits for all, not just shareholders, working together to be the change we seek in the world.

For Lake Champlain Chocolates these performance standards provide a valuable third-party measurement tool, assuring customers and suppliers that LCC’s business practices meet the highest standards. “Achieving B Corp Certification is the next step towards fulfilling our company’s vision to become the gold standard of chocolate companies in the United States, a respected leader other companies aspire to be,” says Eric Lampman, LCC President. “For more than 35 years, our practices have been guided by one core value – ‘everything must measure up to the chocolate.’  And this includes making a positive impact on our local and global communities by respecting our employees, fostering long-term partnerships with our suppliers, and practicing environmental responsibility.”

Factory Tours:

The folks at Lake Champlain Chocolates would love to show you around! Visit their flagship store on Pine Street in Burlington to watch their master chocolatiers craft extraordinary chocolate right before your eyes. Watch a brief video to learn how chocolate is made, where it comes from, and what makes their chocolates so delicious. And while you’re there, be sure to treat yourself to one of their specialty confections like Almond Butter Crunch, their famous chocolate truffle, or enjoy a hot chocolate, espresso, or ice cream from their café. Their factory tours are free, self-guided, informative, and fun! Chocolate is typically produced Monday-Friday; however, there can be changes in the production schedule without notice. You may visit Monday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, though to see the most action in the factory, it is recommended to visit Monday-Friday before 2:00 pm.

Lake Champlain Chocolates also offers free outdoor chocolate tastings (weather permitting) at their Pine Street location on Saturdays from 12:00 – 4:00. 



Who and How your Board Serves YOU

Our co-op stands out nationally. Financially, MNFC is notably robust. We are also lucky to have a general manager who has won national awards. Additionally, unlike many co-ops who struggle to recruit and retain board members, our board of directors is remarkably stable and there are consistently more candidates who run than available seats. As Board Development Chair, I’d like to share how our board approaches this unique quality of our co-op. 

As a board, we are constantly balancing two distinct needs: 1) authentic representation of the member-owners and 2) consistent leadership to support the general manager. Often, these two needs can feel at odds. We are committed to recruiting new board members to make sure we have fresh voices bringing diverse perspectives to the board room. We are also committed to supporting our general manager–our number one job as a board–and to achieve this, the institutional knowledge and unique skills that come from serving multiple terms on the board are invaluable. 

We have discussed term limits for board members and gained insight from our peer co-op boards that do and do not have term limits. Historically, the MNFC board has voted against term limits for two main reasons. First, we have seen organic, steady turnover of the board as a result of the democratic process. In the last five years, there have been six new members out of eleven total seats and every year has resulted in at least one new member joining the board. Second, we are aware of the perils of losing a key board member without a skilled successor–treasurer, or president for example–simply because their term is up. 

Diversity and inclusion are central to our work as a board. The board needs to feel like an open and inclusive space for all member-owners, and the diversity amongst member-owners needs to be represented in board seats. Beginning in 2019, we enhanced our recruitment process and expanded opportunities for prospective candidates to learn about the board. Moving forward, we will begin this process even earlier in the year, and provide mid-year opportunities for candidates to explore the opportunity to sit on the board. 

We want to hear from you. As a board, what can we do to improve this unique balancing act? Let us know: 

Amanda Warren is Chair of the Board’s Board Development Committee.


Spotlight on Cascadian Farm

We’re shining this week’s Member Deals Spotlight on Cascadian Farm. Their full line of organic products are 20% off for member-owners from March 11th – 17th, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about their commitment to providing healthy, organic foods for over 45 years:

The Cascadian Farm story began over 45 years ago when founder, Gene Kahn, an idealistic 24-year-old grad-school dropout from Chicago, wanted to make a difference in the world. He recognized the delicate balance between humans and their environment and wanted to farm in a way that would not harm the natural beauty of the earth or her inhabitants. Inspired by reading “Silent Spring” and “Diet For A Small Planet”, he set out to farm organically on a little stretch of land next to the Skagit River in the Cascade Mountains of Washington.

The Cascadian Farm family is proud that more than 45 years after their founding, the original farm is still rooted in the organic values it was founded upon. It represents their ‘true north’, demonstrating their commitment to organic and land stewardship practices to the partner farms they work with to bring organic products to more consumers. Dedication and passion from farmers past and present preserves this organic legacy. Their company has been recognized as a pioneer in converting large-acreage conventional farms to organic production, now boasting more than 100,000 acres of organic farmland.

Want to visit the farm? They’re offering a trip for two to tour the original farm in Skagit Valley, WA to learn all about their history and farming practices! Three runners up will win $250 in free Cascadian Farm product. To enter, click HERE anytime after April 19th.

Why Organic?

Choosing organic foods allows you to:

  • limit your exposure to synthetic insecticides, fungicides, and herbicide
  • limit your intake of growth hormones and antibiotics
  • limit your intake of genetically modified foods

Organic Foods:

  • Do rely on natural biological systems for pest and weed control thus avoiding use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and soil fumigants.
  • Do improve the quality and fertility of the soil
  • Do protect water quality
  • Do reduce soil erosion
  • Do reduce the impact of agriculture on our environment
  • Do produce high quality, great tasting food
  • Don’t use genetic engineering
  • Don’t use sewage sludge as fertilizer

Take it from Jim Meyer – Cascadian Farm’s Organic Educator and Farm Manager from 1993 until his retirement in 2015. His strong belief in working with nature and giving back to the community set a solid foundation for the future of the farm:

Spotlight on The Bakery

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on The Bakery this week! Member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all of their favorite baked goods from this local bakery hailing from the heart of Rutland, Vermont. Read on to learn more about the bakery and their commitment to serving up their local best:


If you’re cruising through historic downtown Rutland and find yourself craving fresh local baked goods and a great cup of coffee, The Bakery’s got you covered. Locals may recognize The Bakery as the latest evolution of the long-successful Baba-A-Louis Bakery — a central Vermont staple for more than 30 years. The time-tested recipes are the same, baked in the same original ovens, but the name, location, and the man at the helm have been new since 2013. 

Donald Billings, who also owns Roots The Restaurant and The Annex in Rutland, as well as Crux and Mountain Merchant in Killington, took over the bakery in 2013. Billings has been involved in the restaurant industry his entire life and was named Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce‘s 2019 Business Leader of the Year.

Owner Donald Billings behind the counter at The Bakery

The Bakery’s mission is to create delicious food from fresh, local ingredients. They’re committed to providing affordable meals from minimally processed, locally-grown food, including organic crops and humanely-raised livestock. The Bakery is proud to partner with local providers and values the relationships they’ve formed with the local farmers and producers in our region.

In addition to baking up some of the most delicious bread and baked goods around, The Bakery also offers a full menu of soups, salads, smoothies, and sandwiches to please any palate. Of course, they’ve had to be nimble in the face of the pandemic and have tailored their offerings to suit a curbside-pickup model in an effort to prioritize both the safety of their staff and the community.

Here at the Co-op, you can find a wide range of their baked offerings, including bread, bagels, English muffins, and a staff favorite lemon blueberry bread that will make you swoon! 

The Value of Family Mealtime

When you’re juggling the shuffle of daily life with children, it can be challenging to prioritize spending time as a family around the dinner table. Finding the time to meal plan, shop, and cook, then sit down to enjoy the meal together isn’t always easy. Thanks to the Dinner Together campaign from our friends at RiseVT in partnership with Ok You’ve Got This and UVMHN Porter Medical Center, we are reminded of just how important it is to make time for this family ritual, and the Dinner Together team has compiled some very handy resources to help make it easier to cultivate the practice of family mealtime. 

It’s More Than Just Food

Studies show that eating together is good for children and teens in ways that extend well beyond the meal, itself. Below are some of the lifelong benefits of family meals:

Eating Together Helps Children Do Better in School

  • Listening to adults exposes children to new words helping them develop larger vocabularies and read better.
  • Table talk gives children and teens a safe place to express ideas, increasing confidence to speak up in class.
  • Parents are likely to know more about how children are doing in school.
  • Students are more likely to get better grades when they eat with their families.

Eating Together Supports Social-Emotional Development

  • Teens are more likely to have better self-esteem and less likely to experience depression or develop an eating disorder.
  • Children are better able to manage negative emotions and have more positive interactions with others.
  • Children learn important turn-taking skills, have improved communication skills, and learn how to share thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

Eating Together Reduces Risky Behaviors

  • Children are less likely to use marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, or have friends who use these substances.
  • Regular family meals are associated with delayed sexual activity among teens.
  • A 2017 survey of Addison County high school students showed that teens who regularly ate family meals participated in fewer risky behaviors and had a significantly lower incidence of substance use.

Eating Together Improves Nutrition and Supports Good Growth

  • Dinners at home are less likely to have too much sugar and unhealthy fats.
  • Children eat more fruits and vegetables and get more variety of healthy foods.
  • Children will make healthier food choices when they are on their own.
  • Children are more likely to grow predictably and steadily along their growth curve.

Eating Together Can Save Money

  • Planning meals and cooking from scratch costs less than many prepared or processed foods.
  • Food dollars go farther when making larger family “batches” compared to buying individual or fast food meals.
  • By cooking extra food for another meal, leftovers can save time in the kitchen and stretch food dollars.

Eating Together Is Enjoyable and Encourages Family Togetherness

  • Family mealtimes help everyone know each other and feel they belong to each other.
  • When children can count on regular time with a parent (or other adults), they feel loved, safe, and secure.
  • Children like eating with their families! Teens say they enjoy family meals, even if they may not show it.

How To Make It Happen

All it takes to make a family meal is two or more people coming together. Making time for family meals is one way to show your children that you are there for them, simply by being together. This time together can allow important conversations to unfold. Keep in mind that family meals are about time, place, and food. This will vary depending on your cultural background, availability, and scheduling.

  • Time: Aim for consistent and fairly regular times for meals that everyone can rely on.
  • Place: No matter the location, family meals happen when at least two family members gather to share a meal without distractions (T.V., phones, tablets).
  • Food: A guideline to ensure adequate choice, balanced nutrition, and satisfaction is to include 4-5 food groups for meals and 2-3 food groups for snacks. Dinner could be as simple as an egg salad sandwich (protein and grain) with some sliced cucumber (veggie), an orange (fruit), and a glass of milk (dairy).

Create a family dinner tradition and ask for your kids’ input. Ideas Include:

  • Setting the table.
  • Dimming the lights to create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.
  • Holding hands around the table to say thanks before the start of the meal.

Develop a list of conversation starters and let the family pick from the list. Use open-ended questions to avoid yes/no answers. Ideas include:

  • What was the hardest (or most interesting) thing that happened today?
  • Describe your favorite part of today.
  • How are you feeling about…?
  • What was recess like today?
  • What are you looking forward to this week/weekend?


Okay, now that you’re up to speed on the many benefits of eating together and have some great tips for implementing family mealtime, check out this excellent database of recipes that the whole family will enjoy!

And if you’re looking for helpful budgeting resources, we think you’ll find this useful. Also, be sure to visit Hunger Free Vermont’s Vermont Foodhelp page. 

Be sure to share a picture of your next family meal with Rise Vermont by posting it to social media with #DinnerTogetherVT



Business of the Month – Jumelles Wellness Midwifery

Are you sprouting a new family? We invite you to check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month for March Jumelles Wellness Midwifery! Jumelles (pronounced ju-mell) is a woman-centered practice, offering central Vermont families homebirth midwifery care, doula services, lactation counseling, and childbirth education. Thanks to the Co-op Connection, Co-op member-owners can enjoy 2% off their initial prenatal appointment and 2% off a birth tub rental! Read on to learn more:



About the Practitioner:

Chenoa is a Traditional Midwife, a Certified Professional Midwife through North American Registry of Midwives (NARM),  Licensed Midwife in the state of Vermont, a certi

fied doula, Certified Lactation Consultant and Emergency Medical Technician.  Chenoa has been attending births since 1997. While pursuing her Bachelors of Art at the University of Oregon, she completed training as a birth doula through DONA (Doulas of North America.) Chenoa immediately began a three-year, traditional midwifery program.

Following the midwifery program/apprenticeship, she continued her training through another apprenticeship in a high-volume birth center in Portland, Oregon, specializing in water births.  During that time, Chenoa also volunteered with Doula Circle, a program that provided doula services for teen mothers, a commitment that she currently maintains by offering childbirth education and support to families.  In 2006, Chenoa moved with her family to Vermont, where she began working as the primary midwife at a group midwifery practice in Addison county. In 2010 Chenoa volunteered as the primary midwife for a busy birth center in Jacmel, Haiti with twin sister Nieve Shere leading to the eventual collaboration between Jumelles Wellness Midwifery and Riverside Natural Health Center in 2013.

Chenoa is certified by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP & BLS) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults, infants, and newborns. She is a member of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), Vermont Midwives Association (VMA), and National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)

Chenoa lives on a small farm in Cornwall, Vermont with her husband and three children.

Services Provided:

  • Home birth midwifery care including prenatal, birth & postpartum
  • Water birth & birth tub rental
  • Laboratory work
  • 24/7 on call service for labor & urgent matters
  • Complete newborn exams & screenings
  • Lactation consulting & breastfeeding support
  • VBAC (Vaginal Births after Cesarean)
  • Childbirth education classes
  • Doula services
  • Acupuncture for fertility, pregnancy, birth & postpartum through collaborative care

Visit their webpage to learn more!