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A Healthy Co-op

New Pioneer Food Co-op June 1 Category: Store News

Here at the Co-op we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make proactive adjustments as needed.

To date we have the following updates for our customers:

UPDATED 7/9/20

In recent weeks, both Linn and Johnson Counties have seen an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. With this increased community spread, we want to remind you of the practices we have in place to promote the health and safety of our shoppers and our team.

Our stores are open daily 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. with the first hour, 9-10 a.m., reserved for senior and high risk shoppers only.

We are practicing social distancing as much as possible. Please maintain 6 feet between you and other shoppers and team members while shopping.

Face coverings are required while in our store. This mitigates the risk of spread when social distancing is difficult throughout our stores. If you arrive at our store and don't have a face covering, we have single use masks available at our registers.

Utilization of Co-op Cart to do online shopping and contactless curbside pick-up continues to be the best way to maintain social distancing standards. If you are interested in using Co-op cart, but aren't sure where to start, we have created this FAQ page with video demos to help!

We continue to sanitize high-touch surfaces diligently, team members are vigilant about hand washing, and we have hand sanitizing stations and complimentary gloves around our stores for your use.

Last month, we announced that a team member in our Iowa City store had tested positive for COVID-19. Our store was immediately deep cleaned and all team members who had close contact with the team member who tested positive self-quarantined and have tested negative for COVID-19. The store is currently back to full operation under normal hours.

Our co-op prides itself on its cleanliness and food safety standards, and we are taking multiple steps to best serve you, care for our staff, and be a responsible member of our community. For ongoing updates, we have created this page on our website. Please also feel free to follow us of Facebook for updates.

Thank you for choosing New Pioneer and for being an integral part of our community.

UPDATED 6/21/20

Saturday, June 20, we learned that a team member in our Iowa City store tested positive for COVID-19.

Upon learning the result, we moved quickly to notify our team, reached out to Johnson County Public Health, and temporarily closed in order to implement a deep clean of the entire store.

The Iowa City store is now open and operating under normal hours.

Our co-op prides itself on its cleanliness and food safety standards, and we are taking multiple steps to best serve you, care for our staff, and be a responsible member of our community.

You can follow our COVID updates on this page or by following us on any of our social medai platforms.

UPDATED 5/14/20

Our team members are the heart of New Pi.

Over the past weeks and months our team has magnificently stepped up to provide vital services to our community. They have made adjustments to keep our customers safe by scaling up our Co-op Cart operations and found new ways to provide our members and shoppers with the food they needed while staying home. They have continually impressed me with their ability to be nimble and innovative during this time of unprecedented change.
In acknowledgement of our team's tremendous efforts during these unprecedented times, I am proud to announce that all New Pioneer team members received an appreciation bonus last week.  We will continue find ways to thank our team for all of their hard work. 

If you would like to join us in offering thanks and encouragement, we invite you to send notes, photos, or short video shoutouts to  

We will continue to be here for our members and shoppers. We will strive to not only provide the highest quality locally and responsibly sourced products, but to do so while building a robust local food economy and connected community. Thank you for supporting our team and our Co-op.

UPDATED 5/8/20

Our commitment to our team members' and customers' safety continues to be our top priority.  We continue to monitor the status and spread of COVID-19 in our community.

  • Beginning this Monday, May 11, we will extend in store shopping hours.  All stores will be open daily 9:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. with the first hour, 9-10 a.m., reserved for senior/high risk shoppers only.  Our hope is that by offering more shopping hours, people are able to space trips to allow for more social distancing.
  • Utilization of Co-op Cart to do online shopping and curbside contactless pick-up continues to be the best way to maintain social distancing standards.  If you are interested in using Co-op cart, but aren't sure where to start, we have created these this FAQ page with video demos to help!

UPDATED 4/30/2020

In order to protect our shoppers and team members, beginning Monday, May 4, all shoppers and employees will be required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while in our stores.  Below is a graphic distributed by Johnson County Public Health illustrating how face coverings help prevent spread.

Due to a shortage in paper bag supplies, we will be lifting the ban on re-usable shopping bags.  If you choose to use your own shopping bags, we simply ask that you bag your own groceries at check out to provide an extra layer of safety for our team members. You may also see us temporarily using plastic bags until the paper bag supply chain can catch up.

We have seen a lot of shoppers utilizing our senior/high risk shopping hours.  Beginning this week, we have extended these hours from three days a week to 7 days a week.  All stores are now open daily 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. with the first hour, 9-10 a.m., reserved for senior/high risk shoppers only.

We will continue to listen to  your feedback, follow guidance from public health agencies and make adjustments to how we can best serve you.

UPDATED 4/23/2020

In the last week, news stories concerning meat producers and processors shutting down due to COVID-19 outbreaks have become more prevalent. I wanted to take a moment to share New Pioneer’s efforts to maintain a safe and stable meat supply.

The vast majority of New Pioneer's meat products are sourced locally or regionally from smaller producers. This means fewer miles, and fewer hands, to get meat from the farm to your table. The majority of our fresh pork comes from Sobaski Family Farms in Washington, IA and is initially processed at Bud’s Custom Meats in Riverside, IA. All of our grass fed beef and our Ferndale turkey are processed at a smaller facility, Lorentz Meats, in Cannon Falls, MN.

Since the virus outbreak, we have been in regular contact with our producers and distributors, and they indicate they are taking additional steps to protect their workers, their products, and their customers. Like us, they understand the critical need to keep the food supply running and the importance of doing so safely.

Some recent news articles have brought up concerns around how the closure of large meat processing plants will impact meat supply. While New Pi has experienced some temporary shortages on select products, we have been fortunate that it has been minimal. Most of these shortages were due to a swell in customer demand and not due to Coronavirus shutdowns. Most of our producers have now caught up and, at this time, we do not anticipate any severe meat supply issues.

With that in mind, it is important to note that this virus does not discriminate. Its highly contagious nature means it can affect anyone and any business including our smaller producers. New Pioneer will continue to closely monitor our meat suppliers. In the unforeseen event that we experience any issues, we will work to find alternate sources while maintaining our commitment to offering the cleanest natural meats in Iowa.

Thank you for your support and trust in New Pioneer Co-op.

UPDATED 4/16/2020

Last week we trialed online only shopping days in each of our stores. Many of you placed orders through Co-op Cart - thank you!  We were pleased to provide extended service during those days, but many of you would still like to do your shopping in store. At this time, we do not have any future store closures scheduled. Future store closures will be communicated well in advance so you can plan your shopping accordingly. We will continue to increase the number of online orders we can fill while remaining open to accommodate shoppers who prefer to shop in store.

The health and safety of our team members and shoppers remains our highest priority and we continue to put protective measures in place.  In addition to plexiglas barriers at the check-out stations, our team members have begun wearing masks while working.  We continue to sanitize high-touch surfaces diligently, team members are vigilant about hand washing, and we have hand sanitizing stations and complimentary gloves around our stores for your use.  When possible, we ask that you limit to one shopper per cart and maintain social distance from others of at least six feet.

UPDATED 4/9/2020

Each Thursday, we will send an e-mail to you with updates.  Our hope is this regular communication will keep us connected and up-to-date during this rapidly changing time. To sign up for our emails click here

  • As social distancing continues to be vital, we have seen your increased need for our online shopping service, Co-op Cart. In order to help shoppers' access, and test expansion of our online service, the Iowa City Store will be closed for in-person shopping tomorrow, Friday, April 10, and will be fulfilling online orders only. This trial of online only shopping will provide guidance on how to best serve our shoppers moving forward. To place your order for pick-up, please visit Shop.NewPi.Coop. Any future store closures will be communicated in advance so you can plan your shopping accordingly.  
  • Beginning this week, our store team members have been strongly encouraged to wear masks while working. 
  • The CDC continues to make recommendations on safe practices while running essential errands. You can find their most recent updates here.

UPDATED 4/3/2020

As a way to say thank you to our healthcare providers on the frontlines and behind the scenes we will be offering 10% off all Co-op Cart orders to healthcare workers with promo code THANKYOU10. Just present you hospital/clinic badge or ID at pickup. No membership required. 

UPDATED 3/24/2020

We continue to monitor the status and spread of COVID-19 in our communities and are making operational changes to best serve you, care for our staff, and be a responsible member of our community: 

  • While shopping, please practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet between you, other shoppers and our staff.
  • Due to high demand for shopping hours dedicated to seniors and those with serious chronic medical conditions, we will expand these hours an additional hour from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday mornings.  The store will open to general public starting at 11:00 a.m. on those days.  Maintaining social distance by utilizing online shopping or other avenues to reduce personal contact is greatly encouraged. We know these hours are not the perfect solution, and we are actively working to scale our online shopping operations. Our hope is they will provide shopping options to seniors who need groceries and for whom online shopping isn’t an option.
  • In order to avoid outside contamination, we are asking shoppers to no longer use outside containers including reusable grocery bags.
  • Effective immediately, we will no longer be accepting returns at our stores.  If for some reason you purchase an item that in someway doesn't meet New Pioneer's high standards, please contact your local store.
  • Our hot bar and salad bar is now closed.  For prepared food options, please visit our grab-and-go cases.
  • We continue to see higher than usual out of stock rates from our distributors due to increased demand.  We're working hard to keep our Co-op stocked with the products you want, but we ask for patience in these unprecedented times. 
  • We have seen a significant increase in demand for our online shopping platform- Co-op Cart. With the ongoing demand and product supply shortages, our personal shoppers will make substitutions when possible when we don't have the selected product in stock. 

UPDATED 3/21/2020

In the coming days you will notice plexiglass shields at our checkouts –  just another measure taken to protect our shoppers and our staff.



UPDATED 3/16/2020

Effective Today
To make online shopping and pick up more accessible for all our shoppers, we have dropped our minimum order temporarily to $35, with pickup fee being waived for everyone.

For the safety of our staff, we are not accepting bottle redemptions (until further notice).

Bulk gravity bins & bulk drinks remain open but we request that you use our freshly stocked containers. We will be removing all scoop-based bins to prevent contamination and we will be prepackaging as many bulk items as possible in the coming days.

Other bulk products may be temporarily removed (per store’s discretion).

Co-op Café will be closed until April 13 to align with the Coralville Library's closing.

We have closed our seating areas and self-service soup, hot bar and salad bar. You can now find these items prepackaged on our hot bar and in our grab-n-go cases in each store.

Beginning March 18 – new temporary hours will take place. 

All Co-op locations will be open from 10 a.m.-7p.m.

Effective March 19 – A new Senior Shopping Hour (for those 60+) will be available Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. to ensure senior shoppers have the opportunity to shop with decreased risk of exposure.


UPDATED 3/10/2020

The news about Coronavirus spreading in our country and cases in the area is concerning. Your co-op is closely monitoring the situation and taking precautions for the health of our shoppers and staff.

We have stepped up frequency of sanitizing door handles, work equipment, and other surfaces and have installed more hand sanitizing stations around the store. We are reminding employees to be vigilant about hand washing and are asking anyone with cold flu symptoms to stay home.

If you’d prefer to use Co-op Cart as a means of getting groceries you are welcome to do so. We are happy to collect your groceries for you. Or if you are looking to stock up on any items you are welcome to order a case with a 5% discount.

New Pioneer Food Co-op About the Author

New Pioneer Food Co-op

New Pi is a food co-operative, owned by over 35,000 members, home-grown in Iowa. We welcome everyone to our store, regardless of membership, and focus on local and sustainable food solutions. New Pi has strong roots in Iowa City’s local food community, and continues to partner with local growers, food, and sustainability organizations to enrich Linn and Johnson County communities.