What is Membership?
Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...
When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.
One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!
Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.
By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.
Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:
- Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
- Paying a livable wage
- Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
- Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
- Offering health insurance to employees
- Donating to local charities and events
- Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
- Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program
What do I receive?
A 13% FLOWER discount, which is added to the 2% discount that all member-owners receive, for a total discount of 15%.
For those who have never been a GreenStar member-owner before, a free trial membership, good for one year.
How do I qualify for the program?
GreenStar member-owners whose memberships are up to date qualify for FLOWER if they currently receive assistance from one of the following programs:
- Food Stamps
- TANF—Cash Assistance
- Free School Lunch Program
Do I need to join GreenStar before I apply?
No. If you've never been a member and you quality for FLOWER, you will receive a one year free trial membership. Your membership card will be mailed to you with your FLOWER qualification letter.
How do I apply?
Applications are available at the Customer Service Desk at our West End store located at 701 W. Buffalo Street (near the corner of Buffalo, Fulton and Seneca Streets), and at our Oasis location in the DeWitt Mall (corner of Cayuga and Buffalo Streets)
Your completed application must be turned in at the Customer Service Desk of our West End store. Although you can pick up an application at Oasis, please note that Oasis cannot accept completed application forms.
When turning in your application, you must show Proof of Identification (e.g. driver's license or a government issued ID card) and Proof of Current Eligibility in one of the specified programs.
Applications take approximately two weeks to process. You will be sent a letter indicating whether you qualify for the program.
If you have never been a member of GreenStar, the Membership Department will also initiate a membership for you and pay for the first year of membership.
What documents are needed to prove current eligibility in the assistance programs used for FLOWER qualification?
Food Stamps: Budget Sheet or a Legal Notice of Eligibility that states the time period that the Food Stamps are approved for. Please note that a Food Stamps card alone is not sufficient to show current Food Stamps eligibility.
- TANF Cash Assistance: Budget Sheet or a Legal Notice of Eligibility that states the time period that assistance is approved for.
- WIC: WIC Card and Current Active WIC Check [Not: both are required]
- Medicaid: Current Awards Letter [letter can not be dated more than one year ago]
- Free School Lunch Program: Qualification Letter for current school year
How long does the FLOWER discount last?
The discount lasts for one year. Program participants need to reapply annually.
You will receive a letter one month before your FLOWER discount expires reminding you to reapply.
Who can use my GreenStar membership and FLOWER discount?
Your membership, like all GreenStar memberships, is an individual membership, good for one adult. This means that your membership is only for you and your dependent children under 18 years of age.
Your membership cannot be used by any other adult, including a spouse, partner, parent or housemate. If other adults use your membership, you will lose your eligibility for the 13% FLOWER discount.
If there is another adult in your household and they qualify for a FLOWER discount, they will need to join and obtain their own membership. If they do not qualify for the FLOWER discount, they can still join, but they will only receive the regular 2% membership.
Are there products that don't receive a FLOWER discount?
GreenStar has two special low price sales programs – BASICS and Co-op Deals. BASICS sales items change on a weekly basis while Co-op Deals specials change every two weeks. Items on a BASICS or Co-op Deals special do not receive any discount.
Sushi, Alcohol, Milk, Butter, Eggs and all bread (except Oasis Bakery bread) receive a 2% discount since these products are sold at the lowest prices possible (please note that the 2% only applies to dairy milk that you drink. Milk products such as cheese, yogurt and ice cream, and nondairy milks such as soy, rice and almond milk, do receive the full 15% discount)
How to Join
Joining is easy! Fill out an application at the cash register at either the West End or Oasis location, or at the Customer Service Desk at the West End store.
All GreenStar memberships are individual memberships, good for one adult and dependent children under 18 years of age. Spouses, partners and other adults are not eligible to use your membership.
Your Equity Share investment of $90 helps GreenStar support local farmers, artisans, businesses and a number of worthy community programs and events. We keep our Equity Share low and have different payment plans to make member-ownership affordable.
Option 1: Pay $90 in full plus a $1.00 processing fee
Option 2: Pay over 10 consecutive years -- $9.00 equity plus $1.00 processing fee each year
Option 3: If you are over 65 years of age, differently-abled or low income, you may pay $4.00 equity plus $1.00 processing fee each year until you reach $90 equity
If you pay in installments, you may pay the membership off in full or in larger increments at any time.
For those interested in our FLOWER program:
If you've never been a GreenStar Member-Owner before and you qualify for the FLOWER program, your first $4.00 payment will be paid by GreenStar [apply for FLOWER before you join the Co-op to take advantage of the free trial year option].
We have lost one of the world's passionate defenders of the right to food. ... Mandela understood that a hungry man, woman or child could not be truly free.
— General José Graziano da Silva, Director, Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.
By Joe Romano, Marketing Manager