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Congratulations to Our First Scholarship Recipients!

Thanks to the Sustainability Studies Program matching La Montañita’s donation and the support from our generous community, we were able to award four outstanding UNM students with the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations Carly Anderson, Christina Hoberg, Pam Quintana and Amy Sedillo. The Co-op is proud to be able to support your aspirations of positively impacting our planet through sustainable farming and ecological conservation.

Here’s a brief bio from each of the first four recipients of the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship:

Carly-Anderson Carly Anderson is an International Relations Major at the University of New Mexico.

I’m minoring in sustainability studies and traveling abroad to Italy this summer with a program that focuses on local food systems. I am hoping to further develop my knowledge in regards to sustainable and productive food supply that I’ll apply to my research on National City resilience and self-sufficiency. I’m thrilled to have discovered the Sustainable Studies program here at UNM and am looking forward to being a part of such an amazing opportunity in regards to local food shed, growth, and environmentally beneficial issues.

Christina Hoberg is a UNM student pursuing a B.S. in Geography and a minor in Sustainability studies.

Her main interests are focusing on human-environmental interactions through restorative ecosystems and sustainable agriculture. She is a graduate of the Las Huertas Farmer Training program and is currently in the process of creating the Firewheel Women’s Collective at Rio Grande Community Farm, a group that will allow women to grow food abundantly while giving their children an outdoor experience. Christina also enjoys exploring new places and thoughts, having great conversations and eating delicious food.

Carly-Anderson
Carly-Anderson Pam Quintana is originally from northern California.

I spent a lot of time at the ocean and in the mountains and have always had a reverence for our beautiful planet and a passion for sustainability. As a returning student to UNM after an extended break, I am majoring in Environmental Communication and minoring in Sustainability Studies. My specific area of interest in terms of sustainability is food waste – from the toxic impact it has on the environment to the other end of the spectrum, which is food insecurity. I currently work as an APS reading intervention teacher for grades K-2nd and refugee students, I have two amazing kids and I love bike riding, hiking, growers markets, traveling and swimming.

Amy Sedillo was born and raised in Northern New Mexico among the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains.

All the fishing trips I took with my father and brothers helped to develop my deep love for nature. My passion for food grew while I was attending high at Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, CO. The foundations of my education provided me the tools for engaging in the world as a steward of the environment. I am currently a student at UNM, studying sustainability and social sciences as a means for creating change in the world. I am a ‘foodie’ who loves exploring the local food scene and sharing my discoveries with family and friends. I have a strong belief that access to healthy, tasty food should be a basic human right, and yet New Mexico is one of the most food insecure states. My mission is to help others develop a love for fresh, local food and encourage the younger generations to learn about where their food comes from.

Carly-Anderson

Want to learn more?

Check out our announcement of the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship for more information. If you’re interested in supporting UNM Sustainability Studies students by making a donation to the scholarship, you can do so here.

Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship

We are excited to announce that La Montañita Co-op is teaming up with the University of New Mexico’s Sustainability Studies Program to offer the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship.

Named for La Montañita founding owner and board member Marshall Kovitz, the scholarship benefits students who have declared Sustainability Studies as their interdisciplinary minor at UNM. Preference is given to those choosing Food Systems as their area of concentration. If you’re interested in making a donation to help this scholarship grow and support more UNM Sustainability Studies students, visit unmfund.org/fund/la-montanita-marshall-kovitz.

“The Sustainability program actually has a long and wonderful history with La Montañita and our students learn about the role of Co-ops and markets in our communities. Students then plan and operate a one-day market on campus,” UNM Sustainability Studies Program Director Professor Bruce Milne said.

Students can pair the Sustainability Studies minor with a wide variety of majors to create an integrated course of study rooted in the principles of ecological conservation, Milne explained.

According to the program website, the Sustainability Studies minor degree provides students from most disciplines with sustainability knowledge, skills and experiences that complement their major, thereby preparing them to bring sustainable practices to many sectors.

The Food Systems concentration within the Sustainability Studies program is vital for continuing to enhance and grow New Mexico’s local foodshed. “Foodshed” is a term describing the regional food economy.

“Local food is among the top reasons students get into sustainability, and we’re thrilled to be on the hunt for the first recipients of the scholarship. In fact, we are matching the money to ensure that deserving students have the critical resources to stay enrolled and progress to graduation. Thanks to La Montañita we’ve seen tremendous growth and innovation around local food in the last 10 years,” Milne added.

Kovitz, who died in March 2016 at age 68, was a champion of preservation and environmental sustainability.  Kovitz was a beloved and active member of the La Montañita community, and his legacy lives on through this memorial scholarship.

“Marshall gave 40 years to La Montañita and is an example of dedication to education and his commitment to our community. It’s our honor to name this scholarship after him,” said Dennis Hanley, La Montañita Co-op General Manager.

The Co-op already has its GRABnGO location on UNM’s main campus, and La Montañita is continuing to look for more ways to partner with the University to develop programs and initiatives that further enhance civic and environmental responsibility.

Supporters wishing to make year-end contributions are encouraged to consider a gift to the La Montañita Co-op Marshall Kovitz Memorial Scholarship.

 

Make a Child Smile

Celebrating Over Two Decades of Sharing, Caring and Cooperation for a Brighter Future

During each holiday season, Co-op members have shared resources and helped fulfill the holiday needs and wishes of children experiencing hardships in our communities for the last 22 years. Every year we ask for your help in letting some very special children and families know that we, as a community, despite tough economic times, will continue to be there for one another.

Through this program, we make the holiday wishes of approximately 600 children in protective custody and foster care a reality. Over the years, you, our loyal Co-op members and shoppers, our staff and child advocates from participating agencies have, through this program, provided for the needs of thousands of children. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you, and hope that you’ll be able to give a gift again this year!

How it Works

giving tree_light

  • Sustainably grown and harvested trees (purchased from Delancy Street’s addiction recovery program) will go up by December 1.
  • The ornaments have the name, age, and a holiday wish for each child, allowing you to choose a gift you will enjoy giving and they will enjoy receiving. Please put your name and ornament number on the sheets attached to the giving tree at each store in case you lose the ornament.
  • Please return the gifts to the Co-op by Monday, December 12 so we can get them back to the agencies and to the children in time. Please, please do honor this deadline.
  • Some families and foster families have more than one child in the program. When one child gets a gift and another does not (because an ornament is taken but a gift is not returned to the Co-op in time) it can be devastating for that child.
  • Please tape the “ornament” with the child’s name and agency onto the gift. To protect the confidentiality and the identities of the children, each ornament has a code on it. Taping the colored ornaments that have the agency name and an ornament code number to the top of the gift will help us get your gift to the right child.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Robin at 505-217-2027, or e-mail her at robins@lamontanita.coop

Participating Agencies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Day School

For well over 40 years, PB&J Family Services, Inc. has been working to keep children safe and help families survive. PB&J continues to pioneer innovative approaches to the prevention of child abuse and neglect and the preservation of the family through interactive parenting and bonding programs in its Peanut Butter & Jelly Therapeutic Preschools, from their home-based programs and in their TEENS program at the Cuba, NM, High School — focusing on breaking the often generational cycle of family dysfunction.

In a program that serves children with an incarcerated parent at one of four New Mexico prisons, PB&J works to break the cycle of crime. Often angry and feeling abandoned, these children are six to eight times more likely to be imprisoned than other youngsters. Other programs work with middle and high school youth in the South Valley through the KidPACT program. More than 80 percent of the families PB&J works with make progress toward meeting their goals. Their programs are so successful with governmental support they are in the process of expanding to serve new communities.

Your gift helps them have a holiday season to remember. Mil gracias! For further information you may contact Donna Brew at (505) 877-7060 or visit pbjfamilyservices.org

Enlace Communitario

Enlace Comunitario (EC)’s works with Latino immigrants to eliminate domestic violence and strengthen the community. Over 15 years EC has created a dynamic continuum of services for both victims of domestic violence and their children including: safety planning; assessment; individual and group counseling; referrals to services (housing, health, financial, etc.); parenting and life-skills classes; legal advocacy; economic development, crisis intervention and community education. EC’s innovative approach goes beyond providing services to include advocacy, leadership development and community organizing projects to make long term systemic changes and strengthen the community.

Domestic violence affects families from all backgrounds. Unfortunately, women from immigrant communities are often at greater risk and are less likely to access needed services. They face cultural and language barriers to police and social services, increased threats of becoming separated from their children through deportation or international child abduction, less access to public benefits and less awareness of their plight by churches, schools and the community at large.

Please contact them at (505)246-8972 or at enlacenm.org with questions or if you want to support Enlace.

New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families

Bernalillo County Child Protective Services (CPS) is a division of the New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD). CYFD receives hundreds of reports every month regarding abuse/neglect of children. And while the mainstream media reports the problems now and again, the thousands of children helped by CYFD generally goes unreported. Social workers investigate allegations and when needed intervene with families to ensure the safety of children. This intervention may consist of crisis counseling, referrals to community resources, or other community supports, or in worst case scenarios the Department requests custody of the children. Children in CYFD custody are placed in a licensed foster home.

Foster parents give temporary care to children while they are in CYFD custody providing a protective and safe home, structure, nurturing, and assistance in preparing the child to return to his/her home, or to be adopted. In New Mexico everyone, is mandated by law, to report child abuse, neglect or exploitation. To report child abuse or neglect please call: Metro Area, 841-6100 or Statewide, 1-800-797-3260.

Bernalillo County has a group of dedicated foster families, but the need is greater than the number of available families. If you feel you could provide a safe home for children in CYFD custody please call Foster a Future, at 1-800-432-2075, and visit cyfd.org to find out more. Working together we can make a difference in a child’s life.

New Mexico Kids Matter—Nobody deserves—or longs for—a happy holiday more than a child in foster care. There are close to one thousand children in foster care in Albuquerque. These are children who are in state’s custody through no fault of their own. This year New Mexico Kids Matter (CASA), a non-profit organization that trains community volunteers to advocate for children who are in foster care, are working with CYFD and are providing support to this agency.

All you need to do to be an elf is come into the Co-op pick an ornament, gather your family and have fun picking a present that will truly be appreciated. Please return your unwrapped gift by Dec. 14th. Every child is a profound responsibility to us all and we thank you for your generosity.

Securing Grants for NM Producers

Securing Grants for NM Producers

In 2016, La Montañita secured more than $330,000 in USDA grants for New Mexico farms and ranches! The La Montañita Co-op Distribution Center’s value chain team wrote these grants for two local food producers in order to help strengthen their businesses, ensuring their long term viability and continued contributions to the New Mexico economy.

With these grants, Beneficial Eggs and The Old Windmill Dairy will be able to increase both their production capacity and sales of their eggs and cheeses, respectively. Because Beneficial Eggs is a shared brand that multiple New Mexico egg producers use, these grants are supporting a number of different NM producers.

Grant writing is one of the many value chain services that La Montañita provides to local farms and ranches.  According to the USDA, the hallmarks of food value chains are “transparency, working together, and providing fair returns to all partners under shared environmental or social values.”  These values are embodied in La Montañita’s Ends, and are what guide how the co-op conducts its daily business with local food producers.

La Montañita’s Co-op Distribution Center is home to a value chain team that provides a whole host of services to local growers, supporting these Ends of environmental stewardship, transparency, working together, and fair returns.  These services include matching producers with scale-appropriate market opportunities; providing technical assistance around production, marketing, food safety, and other aspects of food businesses; advocacy around farm-related policy, both local and national; securing funding and resources for growers; and testing new business models that provide greater returns for businesses along La Montañita’s entire supply chain.

This is all to say, value chain work often extends beyond the day-to-day transactions between a buyer and seller.  For example, some of La Montañita’s value chain services only benefit the co-op indirectly, including our writing grants for New Mexico farms and ranches.  The USDA’s “Value Added Producer Grant” is one such funding opportunity, and it’s through the VAPG grant program that La Montañita recently secured the $330,000 for local producers.

These VAPG grants will provide funding to support the marketing efforts of Beneficial Eggs and The Old Windmill Dairy, and will be awarded in their entirety to the beneficiaries.  As a result of these VAPG grants, Beneficial Eggs and Old Windmill Dairy will be able to increase both their production capacity as well as their gross sales.  The grants will also support three new, full-time, good paying jobs for New Mexico’s economy.

Have questions about these grants, or want to learn more about our work with local producers? Contact our Value Chain Specialist: benjamin.bartley@lamontanita.coop

Your Perfect Holiday Turkey

 

They’re here! Embudo Valley Organics’ fresh, local and organic turkeys are available this year for only $3.99/lb. We also have a great selection of Mary’s turkeys: Mary’s Organic turkeys are $3.99/lb, and Mary’s Non-GMO turkeys are $2.69/lb.

Order yours today by calling your favorite Co-op location, or come on in and order in person:

Embudo Valley Organics’ turkeys are always outside in the fields and sunshine, grazed in open irrigated pastures, fed only certified organic grains, and are cared for and harvested by hand to ensure the highest quality product in the most humane manner. This small, local farm produces the nation’s first Certified Organic Turkeys with no artificial ingredients, from the ground up!

Mary’s turkeys are free-range, fed a vegetarian diet, and are raised in California. If you have any questions about our turkey options before you place your order, just give us a call at one of the phone numbers above.

Need a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly option, or want to make Thanksgiving easier by having our professional chefs handle your side dishes? Check out our holiday catering options to see how we can help complete your perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

2016 Board Election Now Closed

Board of Directors elections have now closed. Thanks to all member-owners who exercised their democratic member control and voted in this year’s Board elections (Nov. 1 – Nov. 14).

This year we had four seats open on the Board and twelve candidates running for those seats. The three candidates who received the most votes will each serve three-year terms on the Board, and the candidate with the fourth most votes will serve a one-year term in a seat left open by a previous Board member stepping down.

Paper ballots postmarked Nov. 1 – Nov. 14 have all been counted, so election results are now finalized. During the December Board meeting, our current Board will approve the election results and seat the four Board candidates who received the most votes.


2016 Board Election Results:

Ian Colburn – 164
Gina Dennis – 1,202
James Glover – 194
Marissa Joe – 1,044
Chad Jones – 903
John Kwait – 533
Ariana Marchello – 550
Silda Mason – 128
Carlos Pantera – 237
Elise Wheeler – 887
Courtney White – 592
Django Zeaman – 250

 

Based on these results, Gina Dennis, Marissa Joe and Chad Jones will be seated on the La Montañita Co-op Board of Directors for three-year terms beginning in 2017, and Elise Wheeler will be seated on the Board for a one-year term.

 

Annual Owner Gathering Videos

La Montañita Co-op’s Annual Owner Gathering was held on October 22 in Albuquerque, and we knew that not everyone who wanted to attend was able to.

For those of you who missed it, we’ve uploaded an unedited video of the first portion of the meeting, including remarks from the Board, our General Manager, member-owners, and 2016 Board candidates.

We’ve also uploaded a video of special guest speaker Ted Howard’s talk on building community wealth through the cooperative model. As you’ll see, multiple cameras were used to record this talk, so shots from different angles were edited together to create the complete video of our special guest’s talk.

Here are links to both videos:

Annual Owner Gathering, Part 1 – Remarks from the Board, our General Manager, member-owners, and Board candidates: Click here to watch

Annual Owner Gathering, Part 2 – Special Guest Speaker Ted Howard on building community wealth through the cooperative model: Click here to watch

 

If you have a question you would have liked to ask at the Annual Owner Gathering, please let us know! You can always reach us through our contact form here: Contact Us

Member-Owner Town Hall Videos

Member-Owner Town Hall Meetings were held recently in ABQ and Santa Fe, but we knew that not everyone who wanted to attend was able to. If you were unable to attend and would like to watch unedited videos of the meetings, we’ve uploaded recordings of both for you here in their entirety:

Albuquerque, October 5: Click here to watch

Santa Fe, October 6: Click here to watch

If you have a question you would have liked to ask at the Town Hall, please let us know! You can always reach us through our contact form here: Contact Us

The Party Continues

The Party Continues on Albuquerque’s Westside, 3601 Old Airport Ave. We’re bringing you a cornucopia of savings at La Montañita Co-op’s Westside location. You’ll find incredible savings store-wide, exclusive Sampling with Sylvanna featuring items on sale and Rockin’ events each week. We can’t wait to see you at the Westside!