Last week I volunteered at the downtown OKC pick-up site for the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. I directed people to their groceries, answered questions, and helped them navigate the process. The co-op delivery day starts very early, as products from all over the state make their way to the central sorting site in Oklahoma City. Products get divvied up by pick-up site, and then get routed to those sites where customers can pick up their orders. Co-op orders are placed on a monthly basis. The order opens on the 1st of each month, closes the Thursday of the following week, and is delivered the next Thursday. So, the December order opened December 1st, closed December 13th, and was delivered December 20th.
Volunteers arrange the dry goods by member number.
Then they arrange the coolers, which hold frozen and refrigerated goods. The goods are grouped by producer.
Members arrive between 5–6:30 p.m. to pick up their groceries.
They check their groceries against the invoice, pay by check or PayPal receipt, and make their merry way home with made-in-Oklahoma items like eggs, steak, greens, cheese, flour, candles, cream, squash, coffee, bar soap, peanut butter, dog biscuits, jewelry, and on and on and on. There were 2,607 items available for purchase in the December catalog.
Membership to the Oklahoma Food Co-op is a one-time fee of $50. It’s a volunteer-run organization, so everyone is encouraged to do what they can, from placing regular orders, helping with publicity and delivery days, tracking down customers of abandoned grocery orders, to serving on committees and cleaning coolers. Here’s a list of pick-up sites all over Oklahoma.