October Board Reflection

The October Board meeting was a tough, three-hour marathon. Our accountant led us page by page through an annual review of the store’s financial statements. Grasping the hard facts, the nitty-gritty underpinning of our beloved Open Harvest is challenging, but bottom-line necessary. Overall our financial condition is solid, even with the negative impact of the pandemic. We are not out of it yet, so here’s how members of Open Harvest can help:


SUPPORT YOUR STORE. We congratulate General Manager Amy Tabor and her team for steering us through the special challenges of the pandemic and the real fact of intense competition for Lincoln’s food dollars. We celebrate having adequate financial solidity to sustain our social goals of supporting Nebraska farms and products and providing healthy, natural, and organic food to our Lincoln community. We’re YOUR store!


SUPPORT OUR STAFF. One way to support the store is to support our staff for the hard work they put in under special pressures. It’s easy to complain, and we do want to hear from members, but remember this pandemic has created some chaos around product availability, shipments, suppliers, and prices. Exercising patience, tact, and gratitude is appreciated.


OCTOBER OWNER DRIVE. Another way to support the store is to invite and encourage new members to join this month. A positive new staff tactic is to frankly invite shoppers to join us. We can all recruit new members. Membership growth, whether new or renewed, can infuse new energy and vision. Join or renew your equity today!


NEW BOARD MEMBER ELECTIONS. Another infusion of fresh vision and energy we look forward to is inviting members to lend a hand through board service. Thanks to the five candidates who’ve come forward. Please visit Open Harvest’s website for the slate of candidates and instructions on how to cast your vote. We will welcome our newly elected board members at the annual meeting on Sunday, November 7th from 6 – 7 pm via zoom.


MOVE TO A NEW LOCATION.  We continue to prepare for the upcoming Owner Investment Campaign, which is necessary for our move in Summer 2023. Please consider how you might participate to help us reach our goal. The membership voted overwhelmingly in August to approve an amendment to our Articles of Incorporation that authorizes us to raise the necessary funds to support this effort. There is an interesting event with Woody Tasch on SLOW MONEY INVESTING, Oct. 21, 6-8 pm at the Jayne Snyder Trail Center (250 N 21st St). Given our need to encourage investments in the Co-op in a few months, this will be useful and informative.


DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION.  Open Harvest is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our beloved community. Members are invited to join the DEI committee in this resolution. Multicultural celebrations through “Get to Know Our Community” events will be held quarterly. In October, we invited the Asian Community and Cultural Center to tell us about their work with Asian-Americans and all refugees. Open Harvest members are invited to register now for this free event on October 20th! It will be held at Milkweed Studio, from 7-8 pm. This winter, OutNebraska will be our guest, and next spring the South Street Temple will invite us to get to know our Jewish neighbors.

A Co-op is not just a store; it’s a community. Let us build community together.