In 2015, a few whip-smart Co-op employees had an inspired idea: give shoppers the option to round up their orders to the next full dollar amount at checkout. The Co-op would then donate the extra change to our area community partners. We launched the program the following summer, calling it Pennies for Change.
This year, Pennies for Change hit a huge milestone—$1 million dollars donated directly to Upper Valley non-profits since June 2016. (That's a hundred million pennies, people!) It's the largest donation in Co-op history, and we owe it all to our members, shoppers, and employees. So well done, you!
How to Make a Donation
Help us reach another million. Round up your change in stores, add to your online order, or consider donating directly to our three main food access partners.
Upper Valley Haven
Your Donations Put to Work
Here are some ways your donations have helped the community:
1 new truck + 1,000 miles traveled weekly providing food for those in need.
Mascoma Cooperative Preschool:
Provided STEM activities for children.
Helped with care for Mink Brook Nature Preserve and other local trails.
Hartford Community Coalition:
Provided 370 meals to Hartford homes.
Listen Community Services:
100+ Meals for community dinners, stocked food pantry, help with heating bills.
Good Neighbor Health Clinic:
Provided tele-health capabilities.
Grafton County Mental Health Court:
Provided funds for unexpected car repairs and rental assistance.
Hanover Street Friday Food Program:
30+ food bags each Friday for families.
Windsor County Mentors:
Provided one-on-one mentoring for youth.
27,000 guests received affordable healthcare accommodations.
Friends of Mascoma:
Stocked Friends Feeding Friends food pantries.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s:
Funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.
West Central Behavioral Health:
Served 2,000 children, families, and individuals.
430,000 hours of service on 24/7 help support hotline.
Here are some thank you notes from community partners we have helped so far:
The Pennies for Change program is one of the Co-op’s many giving programs. Customers can donate their change to our community partners by rounding at the registers to the next full dollar amount
For the first half of 2021, the Co-op is making a small change to the structure of the Pennies for Change program. While we will continue to support our three food access partners (receiving 60% of the total), the remaining 40% will be awarded to two organizations. This reflects the number of applications received so that every applicant is receiving the maximum amount of funding available.
We hope you continue to support the program and our community partners that work so hard to make the Upper Valley an amazing place to live and work! Thank you!
May Community Partners
Stoneledge Stables: $2,623.56
VT Adult Learning: $2,623.56
Food Access Partners
LISTEN provides services and support to meet the critical needs of Upper Valley individuals and families.
The Upper Valley Haven is a non-profit, private organization that serves people struggling with poverty by providing food, shelter, education, service coordination, and other support.
Willing Hands: $2,623.55
Willing Hands serves people in need of all ages throughout our Upper Valley region. We supply produce to food shelves, free community meals, daycare & rehabilitation programs, and to families & seniors in subsidized housing. We serve everyone free of charge.
Total Member Donations Since June 2016: $1,051,346.54
Total Collected May 2021: $13,117.77
Total Collected YTD 2021: $65,169.17
Policy on Cooperative Giving
The Co-op’s Board of Directors has established the following policy on cooperative giving and are organized under the following four themes:
Food assistance to alleviate hunger
Community building (including support of regional agriculture)
Promotion of cooperative principles and activities
Environment, energy and sustainability
All applicants must be a 501(c) 3 organization. If you have any questions, please call 802-765-2841 or send an email erogers [at] coopfoodstore.com (Emily Rogers).
Of the funds collected each month, 60 percent goes to our food access partners: LISTEN Community Services, Upper Valley Haven, and Willing Hands. The remaining 40 percent is split between two other community partners.
These two partners change on a monthly basis. These community partners will be assigned as 20 percent partners based on alignment with the four themes above.
How to Become a Community Partner
Applications are accepting on a rotating basis but are reviewed twice annually (December and July). Awards are made for the following 6 month period.