By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Oct 06, 2020 at 1:01 PM

The Nov. 3 election is right around the corner. But misinformation about the election continues to circulate, and it seems the playing field is constantly changing (example: the recent cancellation of early voting at Miller Park and Fiserv Forum) .

To assist, Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative has partnered with the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County to help provide accurate information about voting deadlines, voter registration, absentee ballots and instructions for creating an election day plan.

The information is available at voter information kiosks, which have been installed at all four co-op locations (Bay View, Capitol Drive, Mequon and State Street). Each kiosk equipped with information, including deadlines for early voter registration (Oct. 14 by mail or online, and in person by Oct. 30) and information on how to request an absentee ballot (the deadline is Oct. 29, but voters are encouraged to request ballots as soon as possible).

“As a co-op we are a democratic organization – one owner, one vote – and believe in the spirit of democracy,” said Outpost’s Margaret Mittelstadt, director of Community Relations. “We believe everyone should participate in the democratic process and want to help inform and prepare our shoppers to vote. Especially this year when the information has been so confusing.”

Use your voice for good

In conjunction with the voter information kiosks, Outpost has also launched a Call to Action public advocacy campaign, which encourages citizens to reach out to elected officials and advocate for issues that make a difference for sustainable agricultural practices and a healthy food system. 

“As a values-based organization, we do more than just sell food. We exist so that our owners and shoppers have a healthy, diverse and sustainable community,” said Outpost Sustainability Manager Kurt Baehmann. “We know, based on our own surveys, that sustainability, support for local producers and farmers, and the availability of natural and organic products are important to our shoppers, as well as to our business.”

The hope is to inspire its 23,000 co-op owners and nearly 400 employees to take action and form a united front that incites real change. 

Each month, Outpost will highlight a new issue on their website; the current actionable topic deals with stimulus funding related to climate change. From there, the website supplies the public with the information they need to get informed about food-related issues and take action. Resources include sample letters and scripts to use when reaching out to lawmakers.

“A phone call is one of the most effective ways to make your views known, even more so than email and social media,” Baehmann said. “It demonstrates an issue is important to you and you’re highly engaged. So, we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for our owners and shoppers to have their voices heard. Imagine the impact even if just one percent of owners contacted their legislators.”

For more information, visit outpost.coop/resources/calltoaction.php 

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.