Board News

Changes Recommended to BCS Bylaws

Recommended BCS By-law Changes

Bylaws – The Board has approved the following changes to our by-laws and is presenting those changes to the member/owners for ratification on the September election ballot. The purpose of making these by-law changes is to extend the length of terms on the board from two to three years and establish an avenue for electronic voting at some point in the future.

By-laws Section 4.12 Voting by mail or electronic ballots: The Board may authorize voting by mail or electronic ballot in conjunction with, or in lieu of, a meeting of the members. In such event, the notice of the meeting shall include a copy of the issue to be voted upon, together with a ballot and a postage-paid voting envelope with an online link as an electronic voting option and notification of the date by which the ballots must be returned. The ballots must be returned in a sealed envelope authenticated by the member’s signature, or sent electronically to a verifiable on-line site. If mail or electronic ballots are used in conjunction with a meeting of the members, votes cast by those ballots shall be counted together with votes cast in person at the meeting. If mail or electronic ballots are used in lieu of a meeting of members, a quorum shall consist of the number of ballots returned. A vote cast by mail or electronic ballot shall be equivalent to presence in person by the member at a meeting of members.

By-laws Section 5.6 Election of Directors shall occur yearly. The seven directors shall be elected for three-year terms according to a repeating three-year pattern:  two seats shall be filled in each of two consecutive years and three seats shall be filled in the third year. All additional vacancies shall also be filled by the annual election. Terms from longest to shortest shall be allocated according to the successful candidate vote totals, from highest to lowest. In the event of ties, the outgoing board must resolve term ambiguities prior to its term dissolution. Voting shall be by ballot. Each member-owner shall receive a ballot, a candidate slate, directions on the number of candidates for whom to vote, and the deadline for returning ballots.

By-laws Section13.2 Amendment by the Board: …. All amendments made by the Board shall be submitted to the members by mail as described in section 4.12 but not later than with the notice of the next scheduled meeting of members. ….

By Donna Stroup, Board President

2009 BCS Board Election

Annual BCS Board Election : 2009

The BCS board of directors is presenting the following slate of candidates for the upcoming September election of four open seats on our seven-member board. Candidates’ statements and photographs will appear on the website in September, and in the September issue of Bloomingnews.

Candidates are:
Carol Bridges
Tim Clougher
Mary Beth Haas
Gretchen Handlos

Joellan MuyskensThree of the four candidates (Carol Bridges, Gretchen Handlos, and Mary Beth Haas) are currently serving on the BCS board. Joellan Muyskens, who most recently served as vice president, has decided to pursue other interests. The board is very appreciative of the four years that Joellan has served all of our member-owners, and we extend our best wishes for her future.


By Donna Stroup, BCS Board President

A Closer Look at the Bloomingfoods Board

Donna, Art, Mary Beth, Carol, Gretchen, Janice, and Tim. Who are these people and what do they really do? These questions may go through your mind (though probably not very often) when you see the results of the co-op board elections.

Donna Stroup has been re-elected as board president. Donna generates an enthusiasm for all of the topics the board must discuss and creates an impeccable orderly agenda which keeps our meetings timely and efficient and allows us the opportunity to brainstorm new ways to fulfill our mission of providing wholesome options for our member-owners.


Your Year to Grow

by Carol Bridges

I hope that all of you reading this newsletter have had a winter holiday season in which you and your loved ones shared an abundance of delicious foods. We are so fortunate in our community to currently have enough so that we can generously contribute to local food kitchens that serve people with lesser means to attain their daily bread. It is a good time of year to be grateful for what we have.

Right now, 2% of the American population feed the other 98%. So far, so good. However, the U.S. is now the world’s single largest net importer of foods. In the post fossil-fuel economy, we will need something like 50 million farmers, according to Richard Heinberg, quoted in A Nation of Farmers by Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton. In 1943, 44% of all the vegetables eaten in the U.S. were produced in home Victory Gardens. During World War II, the total quantity of vegetables produced in Victory Gardens was equal to the total output of produce from all U.S. farms combined. When we recognize the need to do something, we can accomplish it.

Should there be a disruption in the transport of food to our grocery stores, a recent study shows that, at best we could only feed the county for three days and most likely only one. No, this is not just Bloomingfoods, this is all of the grocery stores everywhere. Most retailers are re-supplied daily and have little food warehoused. Without sufficient local suppliers...and these we definitely do not yet have...we would be without food. Period.

This does not have to be our future. We are a caring people, intelligent enough to provide for ourselves and others once we recognize a problem. Perhaps you can add one more resolution to your New Year’s intentions. Support your local farmers, food store providers and workers and plant your own garden. Let all those seed catalogs you are receiving now inspire you to take action this year (or consider buying seeds from our own local purveyor, Nature’s Crossroads). The average farmer in the world is a non-white woman, farming about four acres, growing 15 different crops on them. It doesn’t have to be a large operation. It is the everyday things that six-and-a-half billion people do all the time that change the world. Just start growing.

Building the Food Supply Network

ImageHow do we build a robust food supply in our local area? That is one of the questions your co-op board will be studying in 2010. Our plan includes inviting local food producers of vegetables, grains, meat and dairy to attend a board meeting and be part of a panel discussion. We need to know the obstacles producers and distributors are facing and brainstorm on ways we can all help each other to surmount these obstacles. We will also look into the state of local canneries and kitchen facilities which are available for community use.

Recent lectures by Gary Paul Nabhan, Joel Salatin and Michael Pollan, real food advocates and authors, indicate increasing public interest in securing a wholesome, local diet. With three co-op grocery stores as well as other markets carrying more organic foods, it is easy to feel over-confident that everything is under control in the Bloomington area. But, any stoppage of the daily transport system would leave us with but one to three days supply of any food for the whole county.

We can see urgent food and water needs whenever there is a crisis in other parts of the world such as those due to weather changes or earth shifts. We don’t want to be without a solid emergency back-up plan.

Your co-op board will be gathering information in 2010 and cooperating in whatever way we can to facilitate the success of a stable, local food supply system. Already, we support our local growers by selling their products in our stores and also supporting the Farmers Markets. Bloomingfoods has also co-founded and continuously partnered with a local chapter of Plant a Row for the Hungry, in which 31,405 pounds of fresh food was donated to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank last year.

If you have interest or expertise in securing strong, mutually beneficial relationships among all who are involved in keeping Bloomington a truly nourishing place, you might consider joining our pool of board candidates. Even though elections are not until September, board application packets will soon be available at each of our stores, where you may pick one up.

Board monthly meeting times are posted on our website,, if you would like to sit in on a session to see how we work together. Your talents may be just what we need for our ongoing dedication to maintaining a cooperative community.


by Carol Bridges, Secretary Bloomingfoods Board of Directors