Enjoying a Typical Holiday in an Atypical Year

A Letter from the Co-op General Manager

To Our Community,

Recently I have been making the rounds in the stores as usual, and it has been wonderful to see our locations buzzing with the typical energy and cheer that comes this time of year, even in spite of the pandemic. Our online holiday classes are posted, Thanksgiving turkey orders are well ahead of last year (a wonderful gift for our local and regional meat producers), and seasonal specialty products are in abundance and located throughout the stores.

What is more, this year our charitable-giving programs are thriving as usual, a testament to our employees’ creativity and innovation as they have made adjustments to keep these programs alive and well despite the challenges of COVID-19.

Today I would like to bring some of these programs to your attention, and to remind you that the need in our community has only grown stronger during the pandemic. If you are a Co-op shopper, there are many ways you can help.

Shred Event 

The Co-op hosted another popular Shred Event Food Drive this past Saturday, which sold out all 240 available spots, raised $932, and shredded more than 2 tons of paper. In a recent blog post, Laurie Gelb, Member Engagement Specialist, broke that down for us in a striking way, pointing out that two tons of shredded paper equates to saving:

  • 36 trees,
  • 14,190 gallons of water,
  • 8,487 kilowatts of energy,
  • 123 pollutants from entering the atmosphere, and
  • 9 cubic yards of landfill.

We hold these Shred Events regularly. Stay tuned to our website, social media channels, and e-news for future events.


This year our Merchandising and Co-op Kitchen teams have worked together with the Claremont Soup Kitchen to develop a Donate-a-Plate program through our holiday catering order system. For each $5 donation, a full holiday meal for one is prepared by our Co-op Kitchen. These meals will be picked up every Friday from November 27-December 31.

Listen Holiday Basket Program 

In lieu of our Stuff-a-Truck program this year, we are conducting a gift card fundraiser for the Holiday Basket Program organized by our friends at LISTEN Community Services. Donated funds will be used to purchase grocery gift cards for needy Upper Valley families and seniors. Donations are already rolling in. The program runs through mid-November.


Over the next few days we will be launching a new fundraiser for the Hanover Cooperative Community Fund (HCCF), a program that helps fund co-op development nationally and non-profits locally with help from our friends at the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. Each time a shopper purchases from one of our vendor partners, we will make a donation to the HCCF. Look for signs in stores for details.

Pennies for Change 

Through Pennies for Change, our shoppers can donate their change to our community partners by rounding up at the registers to the next full dollar amount. Though donations have fallen over the course of the pandemic, we are still on track to break the $1 million mark in customer donations in February, 2021. There will be more to come as we approach this milestone. Until then, remember that many of our community partners depend on the donations collected through Pennies for Change. If you can, please round up at the registers.

Wrap Up

My thanks to all of our members and shoppers for the ongoing support. If you would like to learn more and stay up-to-date on all of our cooperative giving programs and other events, I invite you to subscribe to our weekly e-news. It is a great way to stay in touch, especially during the holiday season when there are so many opportunities. If you have not subscribed already, sign up here.

Thank you to our community and as always, I welcome any comments and questions. Please reach out to me anytime. In the meantime, remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves. Also, you will no doubt see extra faces in our stores this holiday as employees from all over the Co-op chip in and help our Front End teams with the extra load. We look forward to serving you then, whether it is in our stores or at the curbside.

Happy holidays, and onward and upward,



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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email

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