Shopping at Moonflower Community Cooperative, you may notice that, while most of the price tags are white, there are smatterings of yellow tags as well. The yellow tags signal that the item is part of the Moonflower Basics program.

Through Moonflower Basics, the co-op offers discounts on a variety of staple goods. Moonflower recently announced the expansion of the Moonflower Basics program, making a wider variety of foods and other products available at a reduced cost.

On its website, moonflower.coop, it says that Moonflower Community Cooperative’s mission is to “provide socially responsible foods, goods and education to promote a healthy, sustainable community.”

“As part of our mission, we want to facilitate access to foods that are good for the planet and people,” Moonflower Marketing and Outreach Coordinator Maggie Keating said. “Everyone deserves to eat quality, healthy food. It’s better for the planet, food producers, and consumer health, which bear the externalized costs of lower quality foods” such as those that are not organically grown (using farming methods deemed more friendly to the environment and human health) or are highly processed.

Keating added that Moonflower voluntarily makes less profit from the sale of items in the Basics program in order to incentivize the purchase of these goods.

“Everyone, especially those with low or fixed incomes, can count on finding quality staple food items at the lowest cost we can reasonably offer,” she said. “This way they don’t have to compromise on quality or nutritional value of their food or the cost to the planet.”

Items in the Basics program include fruits and vegetables, bulk grains and seeds, bread, eggs, milk and baby food.

Keating said she has heard positive feedback from customers on the Moonflower Basics program.

“Our biggest challenge of the Basics program is that most people don’t know about it,” she said. “Some shoppers confuse them with the owner sales and don’t realize they apply to everyone.”

Owner sales are indicated by purple price tags and are discounted for co-op members, also referred to as co-op owners – customers who have invested in the co-op by purchasing memberships and are eligible for monthly sales on select items in addition to other benefits.

Keating said the Basics program started about a decade ago and was originally called the Lifeline program. Recently, Moonflower expanded the program to include all products of the Field Day brand, a product line intended to make quality organic products accessible for small stores.

“We recently started carrying a lot more of their products, so we decided to add them all to the program,” Keating said.

Field Day not only offers a wide range of foods, but also household products like dish soap as well as personal care items.

Moonflower shopper Mariah Robertson said she buys Salt City’s homemade-style artisan bread from Moonflower because of the Basics program.

“Most of what I call ‘real bread’ options at the other grocery stores are prohibitively expensive,” she said. “It is a nice gesture on Moonflower’s part to provide the community with consistently low prices on items like bread, bananas, and eggs.”

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