Your Co-op’s Response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Wheatsfield Cooperative remains ready to adapt to changes happening during these unprecedented times. Thank you for supporting Wheatsfield  Cooperative and your Community! We are monitoring the development of the pandemic closely and will consider all recommended precautions to protect the health and safety of customers and staff. We will closely monitor guidance from the CDC and local health officials in our area. We will rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.

In addition, staff are working to ensure quick responses to changing product needs and availability.

Additional Resources & Helpful Links

What We Are Doing at Wheatsfield Co-op

We already have many procedures in place to help maintain food and product safety. To complement those procedures, we are implementing more frequent sanitization of carts, baskets, tongs, handles, cash register stands and more. As the situation evolves, we remain vigilant and ready to implement further actions.

Update | Starting May 31, 2021 | Curbside Program Update

To support our shoppers and keep our employees safe, we started curbside pickup in March 2020. Now that many customers are returning to shopping inside the co-op, we need to modify the program.

  • Changes to Curbside Pickup Starting May 31, 2021
    • Curbside pickup will only be available Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
    • Orders placed via the website or email must be submitted by 8am for same day pickup. Orders submitted after 8am will be picked the next curbside day (Sun, Mon, or Tues).
    • If you need to call in your order, phone orders will only be taken between 8-9am Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
    • To help cover the extra costs associated with this service, a $5 service fee will be applied to all curbside pickup orders.

Update | May 20, 2021 | Store Update

  • Masks Now Recommended
    • Last night, Governor Reynolds signed a bill that prevents cities and counties from having mask mandates that affect private property. This means that the City of Ames mask mandate no longer applies to Wheatsfield. Effective immediately, we will be following CDC recommendations to allow fully vaccinated individuals to be in the co-op without masks. Masks are highly recommended to shop in the co-op, however, and we will continue to have them at the door for those who need one. Please read or blog post for more info.

Update | May 18, 2021 | Store Update

  • Masks Required
    • Masks are still required to shop inside of Wheatsfield. We love that more people are getting vaccinated and that COVID numbers are going down, but masks will continue to be required in the co-op for now whether you are vaccinated or not. The City of Ames still has a mask mandate in place and we will continue to follow that mandate. Once that mandate is lifted, we will reevaluate our policy. Thank you for your cooperation and for helping to keep our staff and customers safe!

Update | May 13, 2021 | Store Update

  • Phased Re-opening of Select Deli Operations
    • Early in the pandemic, we stopped our self-service hot bar, salad bar, and soup offerings out of an abundance of caution. We also started pre-wrapping our baked goods in plastic wrap. With increasing vaccination numbers and CDC guidance stating that the risk of COVID transmission through food is very low, we are going to begin to reverse some of those changes and phase back in more deli operations.Starting Monday, May 17, we will resume our self-service hot soup program on the hot bar and we are going to discontinue wrapping many of our baked goods in the pastry case. Salad bar and hot bar lunch and dinner offerings will continue to be prepackaged at this time.As always, please make sure your hands are clean before retrieving your soup or pastries and use parchment sheets for grabbing baked goods. Hand sanitizer will be available and the touchpoints will be disinfected regularly.

Update | Oct 26 | Community Update

  • Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Case
    • The Co-op has been notified that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Please read more on our blog HERE about this case and please contact Linda Johnson, Store Manager, at 515-232-4094 or email [email protected] for any questions.

Update | Oct 1 | Store Updates

  • Bulk bag and Container use resumes: Effective Oct. 1, 2020.
    • Clean reusable bulk bags and containers are welcome for use once again in the co-op. This change is one important way the co-op and community members can join together to sustain a healthy community with positive environmental impacts during these challenging times.
    • Please note that this change does not include reusable mugs and beverage containers.
    • As experts learn more about COVID-19, CDC guidance indicates objects and surfaces are not a primary way for coronavirus spread. However, reusable beverage containers continue to present a concern about transmission due to their direct contact with a person’s mouth.
  • Can and Bottle Redemption Resumes: Effective Oct. 1, 2020
    • In order to keep our staff safe, the following guidelines will be in place.
      • Limit of 120 cans or bottles in a 24 hour period per customer.
      • You can only bring back cans and bottles of products purchased at the co-op with a bottle deposit.
      • All cans and bottles must be bagged or boxed and counted before bringing them to the store.
      • Cans and bottles must be reasonably clean and intact, dry and free of foreign materials.
      • We have the right to refuse redemption for cans and bottles that are dirty, broken, crushed, or do not stand on their own.
      • Bring your bags or boxes of cans and bottles to the cash register for redemption. Let the cashier know how many you are returning.
      • We will not allow can and bottle redemption via curbside pickup.
      • You must wear a mask at all times when in Wheatsfield.
  • Self-Serve Coffee Station Resumes
    • Self-serve coffee is back and in its original location on the end of the Beverage bar. As stated above, use of personal reusable beverage containers is not permitted at this time. Compostable co-op branded coffee cups and lids will be provided.
    • Please sanitize hands before interacting with the coffee station.

Update | Sept 4 | Community Update

Update | June 22 | Store Updates

  • Mask Required: Effective June 22, 2020.
    • In order to keep our team members and community safe, face coverings are required in the co-op. All shoppers and employees must cover their mouth and nose with a mask, face covering, scarf, bandana, or face shield. Thank you to everyone for abiding by this policy. To assist you with this, we have a supply of single use masks available at customer service. If wearing a face covering or mask is not an option for you, please consider our curbside pick-up program.

Update | June 13 | Store Updates

  • Case Preorders Resume: Effective June 13, 2020.
    • Your Co-op has resumed taking case preorders, with a few changes, our first pickup will be on June 26. Ordering via the website form and email is preferred. Please visit https://www.wheatsfield.coop/preorders/ to place preorders.

Update | June 1 | Hours Update | Store Updates

  • Extending Hours: 8am – 9pm Daily | Reserved Shopping: 8am-9am | Effective June 1, 2020.
  • Deli Seating Area Update: At this time we do not have plans or a timeline to reopen our deli seating area. We are using the seating area to stage curbside orders and we also do not feel comfortable encouraging people to hang out in the co-op right now. Our focus is to allow our customers to come in and do their grocery shopping carefully and efficiently so we can keep staff and customers safe and healthy. We know the co-op is a community gathering space and we miss seeing all of you more, but we need people to limit their shopping trips and time in the store for now. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
  • Please wear a face covering while shopping at the co-op. Complimentary masks are available at the Customer Service Desk.

Update | May 7 | Meat Purchases | Store Updates

  • Meat Purchasing Limits: 2 packs each of beef, chicken, or pork per purchase. effective May 7, 2020 | Please read our article for more info.
  • Directional Arrows are in select aisles around the store to allow customers and team members to better distance themselves.
  • Aisles Closed for Stocking: You may notice aisles closed during delivery days to allow for safer and efficient stocking of products. Please ask a team member for assistance in receiving products.

Updated Hours | Reserved Shopping | Curbside Pickup

  • Updated store hours: 8am-7pm, effective March 19, 2020
  • Reserved Shopping Time: 8-9am Reserved for senior shoppers (age 60+) as well as those with compromised immune systems and expectant mothers. This gives those higher risk shoppers an opportunity to shop when the store is less crowded as well as to shop first after our closing and morning sanitation procedures. Please respect this request to the extent possible to allow shoppers who are a higher risk of contracting severe illness the ability to shop safely.
  • Curbside Pickup: 9am-3pm, MONDAY – SATURDAY, Place orders by 1 pm for same day pickup! effective March 19
    • To support our shoppers and keep our employees safe, the Co-op is now taking orders via our website form, email, and over the phone. You can come to the Co-op, park in the EAST parking spaces by the deck, and we will bring your groceries out to your car. You do not need to be a member-owner to participate. Orders placed after 1pm are not guaranteed to be ready same day.

Around the Store

  • Increased precautions in Bulk department including hand sanitizers and limiting aisle to 3 customers at a time.
  • Signs have been placed at store entrances indicating mask requirement for shopping in store.
  • Temporarily discontinuing redemption of all bottles and cans. We will continue to take Sheeder glass milk bottles back for now and revisit this decision as the week progresses.
  • Customers will no longer be able to use their bulk containers from home. We ask that they use the options available in the store.
  • If a customer brings in their own bags to take purchases home in, they are asked to bag their own groceries at checkout.
  • Self-service coffee has been moved behind the counter and will be served by Deli staff.
  • All reusable coffee cups, dinner plates and metal silverware have been removed from the sales floor. Compostable plastic ware will remain available at the Deli front by request.
  • Stanchions are in place at the Deli counter to create space between customers placing orders and Deli staff.
  • Installed additional automated hand sanitizers throughout the Co-op.
  • Stopping any passive sampling of products in the store to help prevent the spreading of germs.
  • Temporarily Discontinuing our Co-op Explorers Kids Free Fruit Program.
  • Discontinuing Self-service Salad, Soup, and Hot Bar (pre-packaged options are being made available).
  • Discontinuing the use of refillable personal cups and mugs at the Deli Front Beverage Bar.
  • Individually wrapping all baked goods in the Bakery Department.
  • Discontinuing wellness, health & beauty product testers on shelves.
  • Posting reminders about proper hand washing in all restrooms and at hand sinks for staff and customers.

Staff Wellness

Product Supplies & Case Orders

  • We are no longer accepting special orders, holding items for customers, or accepting returns due to ongoing supply issues and out of stocks.
  • Monitoring availability of products and staple items from our vendors. At the moment, we are experiencing distributor out of stock issues on all hand sanitizers and Seventh Generation Disinfecting wipes and spray cleaner.
  • We will do our best to maintain our stock of all items, but there could be things we run out of in between orders and deliveries or if they become unavailable for us to order.

Updates

  • Watching for updates from National Co-op Grocers, our suppliers, the CDC, Paylocity and other entities. There is a lot that is not known at this point so this information will probably change and get updated as we move forward.

Classes & Events

  • Canceling or postponing events: $5 Dinners, Earth Week Celebrations
  • Canceling all upcoming classes and will reschedule for later dates. Other events and may be affected so please watch our e-news, website, and social media for notices.

Staying Prepared

  • Preparing for future actions as they are necessary. We will make those decisions if or when the situation worsens locally.

If you would like to contact the Co-op at any time, please email [email protected] or call 515-232-4094

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Make your own Hand Sanitizer

Purifying Hand Gel Spray
  • 24 drops Aura Cacia Rescue Charm Essential Oil Blend
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2/3 cup 91% isopropyl alcohol
  • 2-4 ounce mist bottles
  • Directions:
    • in a bowl, combine all ingredients and pour into mist bottles
    • Place the spray top on tightly and shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine. To use, spray as needed on hands.
Cleansing Hand Gel Spray
  • 8 drops Aura Cacia Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil
  • 8 drops Aura Cacia Bergamot Essential Oil
  • 8 drops Aura Cacia Tea tree Essential Oil
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2-4 ounce mist bottles
  • Directions:
    • in a bowl, combine all ingredients and pour into mist bottles
    • Place the spray top on tightly and shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine. To use, spray as needed on hands.

Note: the CDC recommends hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. Please keep out of reach of children.