Do I get to choose what fruits and vegetables I receive? No, everyone gets an equal share of the produce purchased. Items will vary from week to week depending on what is a good price that week.
Is every share exactly the same? We make every effort to make sure each person gets an equal share of the produce. There are times where the produce doesn't divide evenly among all the baskets. We take all the "extra" produce to the side and allow you to select what you would like.
Is the produce fresh? Yes, the produce comes from a local produce delivery company that sells to local to restaurants and grocery stores.
Is the produce locally grown? No. The number one purpose of the Arlington Produce Co-Op is to allow families to provide high quality fruits and vegetables to their family members at lower cost than available at the grocery store. Locally grown food is significantly more expensive. When the price of locally grown food is comparable to other produce, we do choose locally grown.
Do I need to volunteer? Our produce co-op is entirely made up of volunteers. Each week, volunteers are needed: to help distribute the produce among the participants, to help with check out and traffic control, and to help with clean up. Please plan to volunteer in some capacity at least once every three times you participate. Children are welcome to help with the distribution.
Why the order fee? The order fee covers the cost incurred in operating the co-op, including: containers for dividing the produce into, the web site, and the cost that Paypal checkout charges us for online orders.
Is there a way to modify my order to add items later? Unfortunately, Paypal does not allow me to add items to your order once they have been processed. If you choose to add something else after already ordering, you will have to pay the order fee again. The fees are charged by Paypal, not by me.
Why do you sell out? While the produce company would allow us to purchase as much produce as we want, the physical limitations of the co-op location restrict how many people we can accomodate. We can serve approximately 90 people each week and still keep the driveway moving and the produce dry under a cover. If you don't want to miss out, get your order in early.
How does is work? Orders are placed every other week. You decide to participate and make your contribution by 9 pm on the Thursday before the co-op runs. (example: Produce available on 10/16. Must order by 10/14 at 9 pm.) We pool all the money together and decide what items are the best value for the week. The produce is delivered Saturday morning. Volunteers arrive one hour early to help divide the produce as evenly as possible among those who contributed. Individuals arrive to transfer their share from our containers to theirs.
What if an item is out of stock or is refunded due to quality issues? There is a time lag between the time I place the order and the time the truck is loaded. Sometimes, an item I order is out of stock when it's time to fulfill our order. If that happens, we are not charged for the out of stock item. I make note of the cost of the out of stock item and that amount is added to the next basket of that type. example: tomatoes are out of stock, we'd ordered $75 in the conventional baskets. The next time we run the co-op, the conventional orders receive an extra $75 in produce.
Sometimes once we receive an item, we discover that it is poor quality and receive a refund. When that happens, the amount refunded is added to the next basket order.
NO INDIVIDUALS RECEIVE MONEY BACK IN THE ABOVE EVENTS. ALL OUT OF STOCK CREDITS AND REFUNDS ARE ADDED TO FUTURE BASKETS. IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WEEKS FOLLOWING AN OUT OF STOCK CREDIT OR QUALITY REFUND, YOU LOOSE OUT ON THE AMOUNT ADDED TO THOSE BASKETS.
Where is the pick up location? The co-op is located at a residence, behind the old Haggen in Arlington. Address: 20005 74th Ave NE, Arlington, WA 98223
When is the produce available? If you are planning to volunteer that week, please arrive at 6:50 am, otherwise, produce is ready to be picked up between 8:00 -8:30 am. Produce not picked up by 9:00 am will be considered abandoned and will be donated to the Arlington Food Bank unless other arrangements are made.
Do you deliver or do I need to pick it up? Although you will receive an email from paypal checkout saying that your order is shipped, nothing tangible is shipped. You need to pick up your produce at the pick up location on Saturday morning between 8-8:30. In order to process your credit card and have the money to pay for the produce on Saturday morning, I have to click "shipped".