Three Rivers Market experienced significant unanticipated sales growth during Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-2020 that accelerated with the onset of the pandemic in our region. The superb managers and staff adapted to an unprecedented operational challenge with the ingenuity, fortitude, and unwavering commitment that over the years have established Three Rivers Market as a cornerstone of our community, an exemplary leader among food co-ops, and, now, a model in the provision of essential services in the midst of a public health crisis. This has resulted in a surplus that also can be attributed to the strong support of members who have demonstrated gratitude and concern for the staff and respectful compliance with policies.
In respect for Cooperative Principle 3, Member Economic Participation, the Board can allocate this surplus to develop the co-op, issue a patronage dividend, and/or support the community in other ways. The Board of Directors is pleased to share that we will be issuing a patronage dividend for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. We will allocate 80 percent of the dividend as a refund, which will be returned to members in the form of store credit; the remaining 20 percent will be allocated equity to members’ accounts. This is a reversal of the percentages apportioned to cash and allocated equity in previous years. We hope this decision provides some relief for members in this time of economic uncertainty.
Members who have paid the equity requirement in full or through a payment plan as of July 1 of the fiscal year, and retained membership through the date of allocation of patronage dividends will be mailed their qualified written notice of allocation that shows their equity holdings in Three Rivers Market, patronage refund history, member loan history, and your patronage dividend for FY 2019-2020 before the end of the calendar year. This letter will include the time period during which your Patronage Refund will be automatically applied to purchases made under your Member Number until it is depleted.