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.

The co-operative business model has proven to be a strong alternative to traditional profit-driven businesses. And, for every dollar you spend in a locally-owned business or cooperative, 45 cents is return to the community, compared to only 13 cents when you spend a dollar at a chain store.

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



A March Bouquet: FLOWER, Global Service Learning Project, GMO Activist Opportunity and More!

By Alexis Alexander

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On Thursday, Feb. 7, the Membership Department made a presentation on our FLOWER program to approximately 20 supervisors at the Department of Social Services (DSS). The supervisors were very enthusiastic about the program's mission to improve healthy food access for individuals and families with limited financial resources. The FLOWER program offers a 15 percent discount to member-owners who currently qualify for and receive Food Stamps, Cash Assistance, Medicaid, WIC, or Free School Lunch benefits.

The DSS supervisors plan to share the information with their staff members who work directly with individuals receiving government assistance. They also offered excellent suggestions to help us improve the program, especially for prospective participants not yet familiar with GreenStar. On Thursday, March 7, we're making a similar presentation to staff at the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC).

Since FLOWER's inception in October 2010, 585 member-owners have participated in the program, with current enrollment of 385. Our intention for these and future outreach efforts is to connect with more people facing financial hardship who are currently unaware of the program.

Cornell's GSL Project & GMO One-Minute Activist Opportunity

Cornell University's Global Service Learning Program offers students the ability to extend their education beyond the classroom through service-related activities in the community. As part of this program, GreenStar will host four students, each contributing 10 hours of service to the co-op.

The students will participate in a variety of activities to gain a broad perspective of the workings of both GreenStar and the cooperative model. One specific project is to develop a One-Minute Activist action focused on genetically modified foods. Despite President Obama's 2007 campaign pledge to label products containing GMO's, there's still no approved labeling legislation; this is quite troubling given how quickly the government is approving genetically engineered seeds and products. The lack of labeling legislation, coupled with insufficient studies on the health risks to humans, is a concern to many GreenStar member-owners and shoppers. The One-Minute Activist project will provide GreenStar member-owners an opportunity to collectively voice their concerns about GMO's in order to help protect the integrity and safety of our food supply.

Be on the lookout later in March for the One-Minute Activist letter, which will be available to sign at the Member Center at each store. The students will also be tabling at the West-End store (dates to be determined), which is a great opportunity for them to meet and interact with member-owners and to learn more about our values-based cooperative community.

Meat Referendum Informational Session & 
Open Mic Member Forum

During the first week of April, Council will be hosting two opportunities for member-owner feedback and discussion prior to the Annual Spring Member Meeting, scheduled for Friday, April 19.

On Tuesday, April 2, an informational session on the upcoming Meat Referendum vote is scheduled. This referendum would repeal Meat Referendum #2, which states that GreenStar can only sell meat from farms within 40 miles of the City of Ithaca, and also requires GreenStar member-owner volunteers to conduct unannounced biannual inspections of all farms from which we procure meat. Please join us at The Space @ GreenStar from 6:30 to 8:30 pm to learn more about the referendum, to ask questions, and to voice your opinions or concerns.

On Thursday, April 4, our annual Spring Member Forum with open mic will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Space @ GreenStar. This is a time for member-owners to ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns with Council and fellow member-owners about GreenStar in general, our current and future plans, and the upcoming vote on the Meat Referendum. Please join us for an evening of thoughtful and lively conversation.


Current Job Postings

  • The rocks are not so close akin to us as the soil; they are one more remove from us; but they lie back of all, and are the final source of all. ... Time, geologic time, looks out at us from the rocks as from no other objects in the landscape.

    — John Burroughs

    By Joe Romano,
Marketing Manager

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