Cogwheel Archive

Rotary Cogwheel | 11.2.2017

November 1, 2017

Today’s Program | Thursday, November 2, 2017

Today: District Governor Kyle Haugen (Wakely)
Next Week: Herbert Quelle, Counsel General of Germany, Chicago, the Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations (Yogi)
Birthdays: Sue Boxrud (11/5), David Brown (11/6), Erin Bailey and Paul Krause (11/9), and Greg Carlson and Jen Dunn-Foster (11/11).
Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.

Last Week:
Just Food, a Northfield co-op grocery store, is now in its 13th year. Sherri Meyers, the new general manager, said the store is for-profit, values-driven and democratically run. Its mission is to nourish a just, healthy, sustainable community. Shelly said their goal is to sell more good food to the people of Northfield, create more good jobs in Northfield, and do more good in the community.

Just Food operates on the seven principles of cooperatives, which are:
— Voluntary and open membership – actually, ownership
— Democratic Member Control – member-elected board of directors.
— Owner economic participation: By buying groceries at the co-op, members have the possibility of a rebate when the store is profitable.
— Autonomy and independence.
— Education, training and information: Educating about many things, such as healthy choices, sustainable choices, shopping on a budget, classes on things like de-cluttering, de-stressing
— Cooperation among cooperatives: E.g., sharing policies, etc., between co-ops
— Concern for community. Each co-op wants to give back to their community in some way.

The co-op employs 50-plus people and pays a livable wage based on the MIT rate for Rice County with a little extra for the higher costs in Northfield. Seventy-six percent of staff make significantly more than that minimum. In the last year, Just Food paid $1.7 million to employees in wages and benefits, sold $1.5 million in local products, and donated $18,000 to local nonprofits

Shelly said the perception that the co-op is expensive is not accurate. It is affordable and income sensitive. She points to several programs such as Co-op Basics, Co-op Deals and a new Fill-It-Fresh program that makes them very competitive. To become more accessible to a wider segment of the community, Just Food is now WIC-certified; it accepts SNAP benefits and offers member discounts to college students.

Just Food has recently taken possession of the entire building and will be moving forward with long-anticipated expansion, taking the store from about 4,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet.

Virginia Kaczmarek, executive director of the Y, is also on the steering committee of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, a program that provides support to veterans and their families. She shared a recent episode of the committee’s work. A veteran needed to vacate his home and had nowhere to go. The network found him a farmhouse, a group of high school students helped him move, and a group of realtors walked through and identified a need for repairs. The campaign is now looking for help with the repairs. Virginia also had several other examples of the work this group is doing, including the donation of 12 turkeys from the American Legion.

Guests: Maritza Navarro of HealthFinders (Taylor); Justin Stets of Carlson Capital Management, board member at Northfield Shares (Krance); Jesse Streitz (Williams); Moira and Alva Hill-Reisiger (Yogi),

Scholarship Enhancement: Ben Martig

— Interviews of prospective outbound exchange students will be Friday, Dec. 1. Rachel Estrella said we will do the interviewing in teams. Training and pizza will be provided. Contact her if you can help.

— We are partnering with Northfield Promise on a literacy program called “Breakfast Buddies.” Our Literacy Committee is looking for volunteers to read to elementary students before school. If you can help, talk to Laurie Williams, Chris Weber or Jim Holden.

— District Governor Kyle Haugen will bring his Tap Tour to Northfield Wednesday, Nov. 15. He will host the event at Imminent Brewing from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It will also be fundraiser for our Guatemalan Clean Water Project. Todd Thompson will make a presentation on the initiative.

— Planning for the 17th Annual Turkey Trot is in full swing. If you would like a sign to help promote the event, see Kurt Larson.

Our 2017-18 outbound students are:
Madison Asp — Finland
Joan Erickson — Argentina
Annika Fisher— South Africa
Bergen Hoff — Czech Republic/Slovakia
Emma Iverson — Spain
Alex Kovach — Japan
Joseph Kreis — Italy
Benjamin (Ben) Mohlke — Brazil
Piper Nelson — Germany
Jenna Olien — South Korea
Jack Overstreet — Brazil
Gregory Pelletier — Argentina
Espen Richardson — Norway
Elizabeth (Betsy) Schuerman — Denmark
Allison (Al) Weise — Thailand

Coming Up
November 16 — The Life and Times of George Davis, Classification
November 23 — No meeting; TURKEY TROT
November 30 — Shelly Holden, Classification (Nordine)
December 7 — Dorothy Ishler, Classification (Wakely)