Research has shown that there’s no shame in the game of hiding fruits and veggies in your child’s diet. Perhaps it’s a handful of spinach in a smoothie or some pureed carrots in tomato sauce, but why stop there? This week, sneak in some squash too!

  1. Roast your squash: Roast the squash at 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until softened to help develop and heighten its flavor. Pick up the pre-cut squash cubes to save on time (and stay safe- winter squash can be tough to cut!). Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper before roasting. If using a whole butternut squash, don’t forget to remove the skin and scoop the seeds.
  2. Blend it up: Once your cooked squash cools down a bit, scoop it from the skin and place in a food processor or blender. You may need to add a splash of broth, water, or milk if it is too thick to blend on its own.
  3. Add it in:
    • Add it to your cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese (about 1 ½ cups puréed)
    • Add it to your marinara sauce (about 1 cup puréed)
    • Spread on the bottom tortilla for a quesadilla and top with yellow shredded cheddar cheese (about ¼ cup per quesadilla)

Not interested in cooking? Use a jar of baby food or canned butternut squash instead. Hate butternut squash no matter what? You could also use canned pure pumpkin for the same nutrition benefits! However, make sure you don’t pick up the pumpkin pie filling when you shop, since it has added sugar and is meant for pumpkin desserts. That product would not work well with these tips- much too sweet!

Test it out on your pickiest eater (even if it’s your spouse!) this week and let your Village Food Gurus know how it went: VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com

We are also happy to help with recipe ideas, meal tips, and any other questions you might have for us!

Move over apples and pumpkin (even though pumpkin is technically a squash)! Squash is a seasonal gem of a food that you should absolutely incorporate into your dishes this fall. Although squash can be found in community supermarkets year round, fall is really the time when they shine and should take the spotlight!

Winter squash flesh is yellow to dark orange in color, meaning it’s full of vitamins A, C, and beta carotene (perfect for immune-support over the cold, winter months). The flavors range from mild and earthy to rich and nutty, similar to pumpkin or sweet potato. There are over 100 total varieties of summer and winter squash, but read on to learn about 5 types of winter squash that will make your meals scream “fall is here” that both kids and adults will love!

 

Kabocha Squash
Also called a Japanese pumpkin, kabocha squash is rich and sweet when cooked. It can be used interchangeably with butternut squash in recipes, so if you haven’t tried it yet, you already have an idea about the flavor. No need to peel this one! The skin is 100% edible when roasted.

 

Delicata Squash
Delicata squash, in my opinion, is one of the more visually appealing of the squashes. It has lovely striations on the skin and lends beautifully to roasted vegetable dishes. Whether you’re hosting a fall get-together or attending a pot luck or family gathering, delicata squash will add a fancy flare to your dish and will get all the guests talking. This is another great option that doesn’t require peeling before cooking.

 

Acorn Squash
Acorn squash has the perfect pocket inside for stuffing! Try stuffing with ground turkey sausage, wilted greens and diced apples as it pairs well with both savory and sweet flavors. Acorn squash skin can be eaten as well, but it is slightly thicker than kabocha or delicata squash skin.

 

Butternut Squash
Good ol’ butternut squash of course makes the list. This is one of the most versatile varieties after it’s roasted: as a side dish with rosemary and thyme, mixed with farro, cranberries, and goat cheese, and even pureed for a pasta sauce. Our Wellness Gurus even made butternut squash macaroni and cheese during a virtual after-school enrichment cooking class with kids!

 

Spaghetti Squash
Gaining popularity as a lower carb alternative to actual spaghetti, spaghetti squash is delicious in multiple ways. Try shredding the flesh into spaghetti-like strands then top with meatballs and marinara. Another fun meal is stuffing the spaghetti squash with taco meat and fixings, buffalo chicken, or sloppy joes.

Need more ideas? Reach out to your team of Wellness Gurus at VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com for recipe ideas and to book your nutrition coaching session!

Fall flavors are more than something to taste on Thanksgiving. Pumpkin spice, steamy squash soup, warm cinnamon oatmeal; It’s a whole mood. Learn how to bring fall flavors into your kitchen and share the feeling with friends.

Have you recently scrolled through Instagram and been bombarded with fall food photos so cozy you can smell the apple pie spice through the screen? “I wanna drink that. I wanna taste that. I wanna make that and eat it!”, you think to yourself. You’re probably not alone in those cravings. Your friends are thinking it too. We’re all thinking it. While some are satisfied with swiping, double-tapping and swinging into the local harvest stand for some salted caramel popcorn, it might be tempting to try some of these recipes at home.

 

I Can’t Cook That

Perhaps you haven’t fired up the stovetop yet because a rock hard butternut squash can be intimidating or you have no idea how to make soup from scratch. Maybe you don’t really know how roasting a vegetable is different than baking it and you feel embarrassed. 2020 has been a year of all things new, why not make it the year to try new things in your kitchen too?! Have you considered a group nutrition class or a virtual cooking lesson? The past several months may have put some forced distance between you and your besties too. Let’s lure the tribe with a pumpkin latte and try some new things together! With the influx of chefs and foodies being indoors there has been a mass uploading of incredible recipes and food creations worth trying. You can cook that. Maybe your first try won’t be post-worthy but you’ll probably still have fun trying it out and challenging your kitchen skills.

 

 

Book Study, Poker Night, what about Kitchen Club?!

Everyone loves to eat and chat, it’s probably the oldest past-time of friends. Even though physically getting together in each other’s kitchens might not be an option right now, gathering on a virtual platform to sip wine and laugh at each other trying to make homemade raviolis is the next best thing. Just pick a date, a time, a recipe or two and fire up the webcam in your kitchen. Making an event out of kitchen club can take away the stress of trying new foods or recipes. If it doesn’t turn out awesome, at least you enjoyed the virtual company of your friends. And if it does turn out great, now you also walk away with the bonus of a new skill, a new recipe to add to your collection, and the courage to try something new next time!

 

Virtual Wine & Dine Inspo

Get wild and try theme nights to explore different flavors. Consider Mediterranean, Indian or Korean. How spicy can we get? Maybe you want to stick with flavors the group is comfortable with but be more ambitious about making things from scratch such as homemade tortillas or fresh manicotti. Another idea is to choose a unique produce item to inspire your recipe selection such as purple sweet potatoes, celery root or jicama. Maybe try different versions of classic holiday sides. Group nutrition classes can get your creative juices flowing. As you learn about the benefits of various fruits and veggies or other ingredients, you might be more inclined to include them in your future meals. Did you know that the spice turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation? Did you know that kiwi contains vitamins that support healthy skin?

 

 

Be The Seed

Did you know that seeds are a great source of plant-based protein? It’s true! Now you can be the seed to get this try-it tribe started. Gather a few intriguing recipes online, reach out to some friends who you know might also be into a kitchen adventure, and also reach out to some who might hesitate but will be lured by the heart-warming pumpkin-spice dessert image you attach to your text, and tell them you’ll see them all next Friday night at 7:30pm. Or see what day or time is good for all your pals. Would you prefer to have this whole shindig already planned or maybe meet some new friends virtually? Sign up for one of our upcoming fall-themed virtual nutrition classes and virtual cooking classes. Some classes are a ‘watch someone else cook and you get the recipes to make afterward’ and some are ‘you get a box of ingredients and we all cook together’ style. If you want to learn more about the health benefits of fall foods and spices, schedule your FREE associate consult by emailing the nutrition team at VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com.

Fall is in full swing, and is the perfect time to take advantage of all the foods the season has to offer. One of the easiest ways to incorporate more fall foods into your diet is with a personalized meal plan.

With the cooler temperatures and falling leaves, comes all the comfort and soul-warming foods like soups, stews, and baking. Fall is always a favorite season that seems to go by all too quickly, especially when schedules get busy. This leaves little time to take advantage of the seasonal foods like apples, squashes, and of course pumpkin while they are still here. Here are some easy ways you can help create a custom meal plan full of your favorite fall foods.

 

Pick One New Food

It may seem like you’ve tried all the foods autumn has to offer, but the season brings much more options aside from simply pumpkins and apples. Have you ever tried a Rave apple? Or a kabocha squash? How about a tiger fig? Even if it is a food you’re already familiar with, like an apple, try looking for a new variety you haven’t tried before. When creating your meal plan for the week ahead, think of where you could fit a new fall food into your meals or snacks.

Pro Tip: Make a note on your grocery list to look for a new variety of your favorite fall foods like squashes, apples, or pears so you don’t forget!

 

Utilize Your Favorite Meals

Now that the days are getting shorter, and the cooler weather is here, it’s no wonder why we crave warm and comforting dishes this time of year. Including some of your favorite dishes in your meal plan can serve as an easy way to add more seasonal foods to your diet as well.

Some fall food meal inspiration includes:

  • Adding chopped kale, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash to a vegetable soup.
  • Using half potatoes and half cauliflower when making mashed potatoes.
  • Topping a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt with chopped apples or pears and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkling salads or roasted vegetables with dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds.

 

Try Something New

If you’re the adventurous type, and ready to step outside of your food comfort zone, use this season as a time to try foods that are completely new to you. This list is full of seasonal foods, and can be a great starting point to finding a food you’ve never tried before. Make it a goal to try a new fall food every one to two weeks. This could help you find your new favorite seasonal food, too!

Pro Tip: Get the whole family involved! Pick a new fall food you all can try together, or try it with a friend or family member, and share your thoughts together.

Not up to trying completely new foods? You can mix up your meal plan with new cooking methods instead! Think of how you usually cook your favorite foods, and try something new. If you normally steam carrots, try roasting them. Usually bake chicken? Try poaching it. This can give the foods you usually eat a completely new flavor or texture, and can be an easy way to add variety to your meal plan without changing around a lot of ingredients.

 

Enlist Help

Making a meal plan can be overwhelming, especially when you have a jam packed schedule to think about first. If you’re not sure where to start, or need help crafting a personalized meal plan, enlist some support from an expert! Our team of Village Wellness Gurus is made up of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), who are knowledgeable in what foods and products can help you reach your health goals, and also have the expertise to be able to help you fit these into a custom meal plan made just for you. That includes your favorite dishes and seasonal foods, too!

Ready for your personalized meal plan?  Email VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com to learn more about how our registered dietitian team can help you!

Why get the kids involved?

Knowing how to involve children in mealtimes is important- not only to avoid unwanted messy situations but also because it provides important life skill development.

 

 

You may not have had the best experience in the past with letting your child help with dinner. Perhaps you let 3-year old Luke crack an egg- only to create more work for yourself as you’re cleaning it off the floor- and his face. Knowing what ways to include a child according to their age group and abilities can help prevent these messy accidents while teaching valuable skills. Bonus: Research shows letting children help with meals may help to reduce picky eating!

 

5 Mess-Free Options to Get Started

 

Most children 2-3 years old and up are capable of the five options below. Start here and build on these skills as the child gets older and more capable:

 

  1. Herbs: Have the child help pick herbs off the stem and break them into smaller pieces. For example homemade guacamole – they can help with the cilantro!

 

  1. Lettuce: They can help dry the lettuce with paper towels and use their fingers to shred it for a salad.

 

  1. Potatoes/ Avocados: A young child can scoop the flesh of a cooked potato or avocado out of the skin. They can also mash it, but be careful with mashing. If your child is still developing their motor skills, the mashing may get aggressive. A large, deep bowl might help prevent potato pieces from escaping. It’s a great teaching moment to show the child how to hold a bowl while mashing so it doesn’t slip away!

 

  1. Stirring/Mixing: Children LOVE to stir things. They love to watch the ingredients get mixed together and feel like they have an important job when asked to stir things. For example, a pasta salad, pancake batter, or muffin mix. Just caution with letting young children stir things that may be tough or dry- if it’s too hard to stir, they will get frustrated and food may go flying.

 

  1. Lemons/Limes: Have them “roll” lemons and limes on the table or counter to release the juice for any recipes using lemon or lime juice. Their goal is to make it easier to get the juice out once the fruit is cut open. Let them decide when the lemon or lime is ready to juice- and then let them watch the juices escape when it’s cut it in half!

 

Ready to give it a try?

 

Pick one of the methods above to try first and a recipe that it would work with.

 

Need more advice for getting your kids in the kitchen?  Email our dietitian team at

VillageNutritionTeam@wakefern.com to get more information or book a consultation with one of our dietitians.

 

Remember, whenever you wear a mask, you’re telling the people around you, “I wear my mask over my nose and mouth because I care about you.”

Because up to 40% of those who have the coronavirus may not show symptoms of any kind, you can spread the virus to your loved ones without even knowing it.

At Village we are a family, and we care about each other and the communities we serve. Show your fellow co-workers and community how much you care, wear your mask over your nose and mouth at all times.

 

Let’s work together as a team

Have you heard of the “mask gesture”? It’s the international symbol for “pull up your mask”. It’s a no-contact and no-words-exchanged way to signal to someone that their mask is not on correctly. To do it, put your hand 5” in front of your mask, and then move your hand from mouth to nose.

Can we all commit to work as a team and hold our Village family accountable to caring?

 

The Science is Sound

There are some people who doubt the effectiveness of masks, but the experts agree; the CDC, the Surgeon General, and the Health Departments of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are unanimous in the assertion that wearing masks save lives by limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

 

The Business Community Agrees

Our competitors and other businesses are implementing nationwide mask mandates, regardless of whether or not the area they operate in requires it. The list of chains requiring masks is large and growing:

 

Walmart

Sam’s Club

Kroger

Costco

Whole Foods

Publix

H-E-B

Albertsons

Meijer

Aldi

Trader Joe’s

Walgreens

CVS

Apple Store

McDonald’s

Best Buy

Target

Lowe’s

Macy’s

Verizon

Kohl’s

Starbucks

AT&T

Rite Aid

Nordstrom

Gap

PetSmart

Bed Bath & Beyond

Dollar Tree

American Eagle

Lowe’s

Home Depot

Office Depot

Panera Bread

Staples

Chipotle

Planet Fitness

JCPenney

 

Most Americans “Get It”

The majority of Americans trust our experts, too! Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of a nationwide mask mandate, with 82% of respondents in favor in a recent survey. We consistently receive compliments from our customers on the extent of our COVID safety measures and they make a point to let us know that we put them at ease when they shop our stores.

 

It’s a great relief to be able to do all my grocery shopping at a store that takes all pandemic precautions so seriously.  From the front door to the isles to the registers I feel safe and secure with your prevention and care.

—  SHOPRITE OF BERNARDSVILLE CUSTOMER

 

With the rise in coronavirus rates nationwide and the weariness people are feeling with constant mask usage, tensions are on the rise. We want to take this time to thank you again for the continued vigilance you’re showing in our stores by adhering to our mask, hygiene, and social distancing policies. It’s not easy to be consistent and you’re showing your communities how it should be done!

 

My husband and I would like to commend on this ShopRite for a job well done during the pandemic. They were very organized and In our opinion went above and beyond to keep their customers informed and safe. 

—  SHOPRITE OF OLD BRIDGE CUSTOMER

 

It’s Part of Our New Normal

Like it or not, the virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Masks are part of our new normal, and some are handling it better than others…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in More?

Your nose is probably under-appreciated for all the work that it does; it helps you to taste food, filter air, protect you from illness, as well as humidifying and regulating the temperature of the air that you breathe. Your sense of smell is also the only sense that’s directly linked to the formation and processing of memories!

Remember this?

It’s more important than ever to follow, as new research has emerged to help us better understand the role of the nose in preventing the spread of the virus. You’ve probably seen people wearing their masks pulled down so it only covers their mouth (and possibly done it yourself from time to time). A new study published in the scientific journal Cell shows how this defeats the point of wearing a mask even more than you might think.

This study identified the different parts of the respiratory tract where the coronavirus multiplies and spreads, and they found that the cells lining the inside of your nose are significantly more likely to become infected and shed virus compared to the throat or lungs.

Scientists also found the virus doesn’t get to the lungs through the blood or the respiratory tract, but rather through infected nasal secretions after you’ve come in contact with the virus.  Click here to watch a CBS news story that summarizes the findings.

Simply put, someone who is sick is more likely to spread the virus by breathing out of their nose than if they were breathing out of their mouth, and you are more likely to be exposed to the virus through your nose than through your mouth. This is especially concerning because the virus can be spread even if there are no symptoms present.

 

This new study further proves that there is little point in wearing a mask at all if you’re not using it to cover your nose. We shouldn’t be wearing them just to go through the motions or because the rules say you have to — the spirit of the policy is to protect everyone around you, just as we would want everyone to do their best to protect us.

Essential workers like us are the best-trained and most knowledgeable frontline fighters against the virus. As the safety experts in our community, it’s imperative we act to protect others; if you see a fellow team member wearing their mask below their nose, send them a gentle reminder that wearing a mask that way is almost as bad as not wearing one at all.

Self-care and maintaining your overall wellbeing should be your first priority. Taking time for yourself and self-care is not selfish, but quite the opposite! Being kind to others starts with being kind to yourself, and being kind to yourself starts with self-care.

 

If you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – Dalai Lama

 

There are so many apps out there, but below is a list of our favorites self-care apps that we think help bring more kindness to our minds, bodies, and people around us. Read through the descriptions and see which one seems like it may be a good fit for your personal needs. If you don’t like it, try another one. We hope you find a few you enjoy!

 

 

Headspace: Meditation & Sleep 

Stress less & relaxing sounds

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Get happy. Stress less. Sleep soundly. Headspace is your guide to everyday mindfulness in just a few minutes a day. Choose from hundreds of guided meditations on everything from managing stress and anxiety to sleep, productivity, exercise, and physical health — including short SOS meditations for when you’re on the go. And to help you find some space during tough times, Headspace is here for you with the new Weathering the storm pack.” Link to site here: https://www.headspace.com/how-it-works

 

 

Calm

Meditation and Sleep Stories

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Calm is a great app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation. Join the millions experiencing better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety with our guided meditations, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music. Calm is recommended by top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts.” Link to site here: https://www.calm.com/

 

 

Grateful: A Gratitude Journal

Focus on what truly matters

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“According to researchers at the Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Grateful was created to make expressing gratitude in your life both easy and fun, as well as to remind you, during those down moments, of the many blessings in your life (that you’ve documented in Grateful).” Link to site here: http://treebetty.com/apps/app-detail/grateful#.Xuo3QJPYqIY

 

 

Shine: Calm Anxiety & Stress

Meditation & motivation

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“The Shine app is your support system for daily stress and anxiety. Learn a new self-care strategy every day, get support from a diverse community, and explore an audio library of over 500+ original meditations, bedtime stories, and ambient music to help you shift your mindset or mood. Join millions of people who experience lower stress and anxiety after using Shine.” Link to site here: https://join.shinetext.com/

 

 

Happify: for Stress & Worry

Activities, Games & Meditation

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Happify’s science-based activities and games can help you overcome negative thoughts, stress, and life’s challenges. Our techniques are developed by leading scientists and experts who’ve been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy for decades. 86% of people who use Happify regularly report feeling better about their lives in 2 months!” Link to site here: https://www.happify.com/

 

 

MyPossibleSelf: Mental Health

Clinically proven self-help

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“The Mental Health App that uses clinically proven content to reduce stress, anxiety and low mood in 8 weeks. Track your mood every day with our FREE Mood Tracker. Understand what signs and symptoms to look out for. Discover practical steps to look after your own mental health. Enjoy our Building Happiness and Wellbeing module for FREE when you download the app – all other modules are accessible through a monthly subscription.” Link to site here: https://www.mypossibleself.com/

 

 

Fabulous – Daily Self Care

Goal Planner & Tracker

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Join millions of Fabulous users and create a healthier, happier life. Fabulous will help increase your energy levels, be more focused, lose weight and sleep better by building healthy habits and routines in your life. Fabulous takes a holistic approach to motivate you to be more productive and have higher energy. We’re more than just a habit tracker, or a way to create new rituals; we’re your own personal coach and happiness trainer.” Link to site here: https://www.mypossibleself.com/

 

 

Strides: Goal & Habit Tracker

Track Habits + SMART Goals

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Track all your Goals & Habits in one flexible app. With Strides you can track anything – good or bad habits and SMART goals – with reminders to hold you accountable and charts to keep you motivated. Recommended in The New York Times, Strides has been called “the most comprehensive, user-friendly, beautifully designed goal tracking app available.” Imagine having all of your most important habits, routines and goals together in one simple to do list. Now you can. :)” Link to site here: https://www.stridesapp.com/

 

 

MyFitnessPal

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker

Free – Offers In-App Purchases

“Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy, change your habits, or start a new diet, you’ll love MyFitnessPal. Consumer Reports #1 rated diet. PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Selection. #1 Health and Fitness app for 4 years straight. Also featured in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired, USA Today, Family Circle, Marie Claire, NBC, CNET, Shape, the Today Show and more. See for yourself why MyFitnessPal is the world’s most popular health and fitness app.” Link to site here: https://www.stridesapp.com/

 

 

 

Wakefern Sponsored Apps

To support your mental well-being – during both the night and day – we invite you to access these digital programs for the next 12 months, at no cost to you if you sign up before June 30, 2020.

 

Sleepio

If your racing mind stops you from falling asleep or wakes you during the night, Sleepio can help. Sleepio is a science-backed, online program that teaches you behavioral techniques to get to the root of stubborn sleep.

To redeem your complimentary 12-month access to Sleepio, complete these instructions on a computer or smart phone web browser before June 30th.

  1. Please visit sleepio.com/access
  2. On the first page, please click Start Sleepio.
  3. After completing the short sleep survey and creating your login credentials, you’ll receive your Sleep Score. You’re welcome to use your email address associated with your Daylight account, if you have one.
  4. On your Sleep Score page, please continue to complete your in-depth sleep test by clicking Personalize Sleepio.
  5. After completing your in-depth sleep assessment, you’ll be directed to your first session with the Prof, your guide throughout the course. At this point, you’re welcome to stop and return to your first session when you’re ready.

 

To continue with your program, you can access Sleepio through a computer web browser or by downloading the Sleepio app to your iOS device (not available through Google Play).

 

Daylight

If you feel constantly worried or find it hard to concentrate during the day, Daylight can help.

Daylight is a science-backed app that teaches you ways to manage stress and the negative emotions in your life.

To redeem your complimentary 12-month access to Daylight, complete these instructions on a computer or smart phone web browser with available headphones or speakers before June 30th.

  1. Please visit trydaylight.com/access.
  2. Next, please click Let’s get started and Continue.
  3. After completing the short survey, Daylight will build your results and guide you through an introduction to your program. At this point, you’ll need to make sure you have working speakers or headphones. Please click Continue.
  4. After completing your program orientation, you’ll be redirected to a screen with two cards. Please click Create Account to continue creating your login credentials. You’re welcome to use your email address associated with your Sleepio account, if you have one.
  5. After entering your information, please click Sign Up. At this point, please wait for the page to load completely for your information to sync properly with the
    system.

 

To continue with your program, please download the Daylight app to your smart phone. Once you have completed your sign-up process, Daylight can only be accessed via the Daylight app on iOS or Google Play.

Our top priority at Village Super Market, Inc. has always been the safety of our Associates and our customers. This has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re committed to doing everything possible to protect our Associates and keep them informed about all developments regarding COVID-19.

 

We use CDC guidelines to guide our actions, and we’ve been ahead of the industry in implementing so many of the things you see in your stores today. We’ve spared no effort in combatting the coronavirus in the workplace:

On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, a virucide that is proven to destroy the coronavirus.

  • On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, an EPA approved virucide.
  • Each night, closing managers are disinfecting all food prep areas, bathrooms, and breakrooms with Red Puroxcide; our floor care company then comes at night to sanitize the store.
  • Twice weekly, each store undergoes a “fogging” service using Decon 30, another EPA approved virucide. We disinfect all high touch areas, prep surfaces, food areas, and carts. Even though the fogging protocol is designed for disinfecting a store after a confirmed positive COVID-19, we do this proactively twice a week to ensure the safety of our Associates and guests.
  • The Blue Squares for Social Distancing program allows customers and Associates to maintain six-foot distances from each other as recommended by the CDC.
  • We’ve implemented reduced occupancy procedures in our stores so we can all maintain this social distance, and we’ve limited the maximum number of people that can be in work areas to ensure our Associates are able to do this.
  • We’ve installed plexiglass shields at all registers, Guest Services, and Pharmacies to further protect our Associates when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • We have a robust temperature check procedure to ensure Associates and vendors aren’t showing symptoms when they arrive at work.
  • We provide masks, gloves, and face shields for our Associates and have a comprehensive protocol on usage and storage. Our vendors are also required to wear masks, and we require our customers to wear face coverings in order to enter the store.
  • Our Associates now have t-shirts that make it easy to ask our customers to “Please Stay Back” and respect your social distance! Don’t be afraid to politely ask them to give you space if they are inside of six feet.
  • We provide Red Puroxcide for our Associates to take home; you can use the same virucidal spray we use in our stores to protect your families!

We know that it’s difficult to wear a mask all day and to keep six feet away from all of our customers and co-workers. However, it’s the most effective tool we have in preventing the spread of the disease; many people who have coronavirus exhibit no symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Wear the mask for the people around you that you care about, if not for yourself — wearing masks saves lives, and that’s no exaggeration. Don’t be exposed, wear your mask over your nose!

 

Ali and Laura Sumas have created a great video on the importance of proper mask usage, and who you’re really protecting by wearing them:

Our leadership team have also created a video about how to use your new t-shirts to tell customers to respect your space and give you six feet of room, for your safety and for theirs. You may see some people you know dancing to a familiar tune — check out the video!

In addition, we have several mechanisms of support that you can rely on; most of you are already aware of the Village Associate Care & Callout Line (1-888-504-0011) as a place you can turn to for guidance on and to speak about your concerns in the workplace. If you’re feeling anxious about coming to work, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us!

We’ve also created theVillage Care Connection Text System (844-551-7799) to provide our Associates with alerts regarding COVID-19, volunteer for cross-training or to work additional shifts, and to receive important updates about Village Super Market. Simply text your employee ID or badge number to this line and answer the questions when prompted. If you’d like further guidance, our Care & Callout Line representatives can help guide you.

What if someone in my store is diagnosed with COVID-19?

In the event that someone at your store is diagnosed, there’s no need to panic! Our procedure is guided by CDC recommendations and our safety procedures mean that there is minimal risk to our Associates. In the event of a diagnosis:

 

  • The Associate will not be allowed in the workplace until they have been cleared to do so.
  • We will notify any colleagues who may have been in close contact for a prolonged period of time, and are asking them to closely monitor their symptoms;
  • In addition to following CDC protocols, we’ll implement our own enhanced sanitation process that includes all workspaces used by the Associate and common areas.

 

Trust the process

Resist the urge to listen to rumors; they start easily when people are anxious and spread misinformation and panic which helps no one. In the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, our Care & Callout Center will notify your store immediately. Transparency is our policy because it promotes safety and trust — you should never forget that your safety is always our first priority.

 

Trust the protocol

You know about our rigorous disinfecting protocol that goes above and beyond the CDC’s recommendations for disinfecting our stores. We’ve adopted such a policy for exactly this type of scenario — we are continuously disinfecting our workspaces, public areas, restrooms, breakrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads, and shopping carts. We’ve also trained you on hygiene protocols, such as regular hand washing and coughing into your elbow, which are potent weapons against the virus. Due to these policies, our stores will have been cleaned multiple times by the time we receive confirmation of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Continue to practice the basics

The easiest steps are some of the most effective ones:

    • Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
    • If you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow and be sure to wash your hands.
    • Don’t touch your face; this is the primary way that viruses are transmitted.
    • Maintain a social distance of 6-feet, for your safety and for others.
    • If you’re sick, stay at home! Just call the Care & Callout Center (1-888-504-0011) and they will notify the store

 

Practice your compassion.

We’re proud of the amazing dedication to duty that our Associates are demonstrating and their commitment to keeping our stores safe for our customers and their fellow co-workers. We also must not forget to practice our compassion and kindness to each other and to those affected by illness because we’re all in this together. Please understand that your co-workers and customers may be anxious due to the ongoing pandemic, and we should do our best to practice patience and compassion. We’re all in this together!