Patronage Refund

Patronage Refunds

A Snapshot of 2015 Patronage

  • Member purchases totaled almost 68% of sales in Fiscal Year 2015.
  • The total Patronage Dividend since 2008 is just under $5.5 million.
  • The Board agreed to distribute 55% of the Dividend in cash.
  • These checks will recirculate over $926,000 back into our local economy.
  • The average 2015 Patronage Refund check is $82.
  • Over 3.6 cents of every $1 eligible Members spent is being refunded.

Basic Information on the Patronage Refund
Individual patronage checks are a refund on profit relative to your Member purchases when your equity is current. Patronage checks are mailed in early November for your spending in our previous fiscal year (For example, November 2015 Patronage checks are for spending from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015). In 2015, Patronage Checks totaling over $926,000 were issued to 11,280 Members, with an average Member check of $82. Please note that the IRS allows the Patronage Refund as non-taxable income for individuals! Please make sure to present our cashiers with your patronage card every time you shop at City Market!

Options for your 2015 Patronage Refund Check:

  1. Enjoy it! Cash or deposit your check within 90 days (by Friday February 5, 2016).
  2. Pay equity.  Apply your check to your  remaining equity balance (detailed information included with your check). Members continue to have the option to pay toward a full equity share of $200 in annual installments of $15. If you choose to return your check to apply toward your equity, please endorse the back of the check "Payable to Onion River Co-op" and include your completed "Donation & Equity Coupon" that was enclosed with your check. The deadline for this option is Monday, February 1, 2016.
  3. Donate to Eradicate Childhood Hunger. Help us combat food insecurity by donating your Patronage Refund to Hunger Free Vermont (HFVT). You can donate directly to HFVT or you can simply return your check to us and we'll donate it for you. Please endorse the back of the check "Payable to Onion River Co-op" and include your completed "Donation & Equity Coupon" that was enclosed with your check. The deadline for this option is Monday, February 1, 2016. If you'd like to donate directly to HFVT, you can make a tax-deductible donation online at using your credit card. You can also call 802-865-0255 or mail your check, payable to Hunger Free VT (with “City Market Patronage” in the memo), 38 Eastwood Drive, Suite 100, South Burlington, VT 05403.
  4. Donate to Strengthen the Local Food System. When Members don't cash their Patronage Refund checks, we automatically donate the funds to organizations working to strengthen the local food system. In this second year of our Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants Program, we solicited grant applications from community non-profits, specifically looking to fund projects that will support our local food system. A Member Grants Committee recommended to the Board that the Co-op fund 6 projects totaling just over $40,000 this year. So when you don’t cash your Patronage Refund check, the donated funds automatically support 6 local food projects in our community!  The 6 local food projects chosen to receive grants are Burlington Children's Space: Sustainable Food Education & Production, Champlain Elementary School: Mobile Kitchen Cart, HANDS (Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors): HANDS-on Gardening, Milton Town School District: Feed the People Project, RAFFL: Local Food is the Future of Food, and Vermont Vegetable & Berry Growers' Association: Community Accreditation for Produce Safety.  Members wishing to exercise this donation option should simply do nothing (really, just don't cash that check).

Thank you for your continued support of the Co-op! Your patronage allows us to be successful and allows us to partner with local food producers and community organizations to eradicate childhood hunger and strengthen our local food systems.