Membership FAQs Membership Address & Name Change Requests I’m moving. How can I update my address with the co-op? Send us a message with your name, member-owner number, and new address. We’ll get your account updated right away. Depending on the timing within our production schedule, you may still receive one newsletter at the old address. I’m moving far, far away. What happens to my membership? Please update your address with us so that you will still receive any patronage dividends issued the following October. If you decide not to do anything, the membership will be deactivated after 18 months have passed without you shopping. This will cause mailings and membership benefits to cease. The membership can be re-activated at any time by shopping again. You may also choose to request a refund of your membership equity, but only if your membership is paid in full. We hope you’ll use the funds to invest in another co-op near your new home! See below for how to refund your membership and click here to look for a new co-op where you are moving. My name is changing. How can I update my name with the co-op? Send us a message with your previous and new name and member-owner number. We’ll get your account updated right away. Membership Status & Refund Requests I want to request a refund of my membership investment. How do I do that? We hate to see you go, but understand that circumstances change. First, your membership must be paid in full to be eligible for a refund. Not sure if you’ve paid in full yet? Contact us or ask a staff member at our customer service desk to look up your payment status. Next, the primary stockholder should fill out a membership equity refund request form and return it to us. Our board will vote on this refund at their next monthly meeting. Note: It may take up to 4-6 weeks to receive your refund check as it is dependent on the schedule of board meetings. I’d like to give my membership to someone else. How do I do that? Unfortunately, we cannot transfer stock ownership to anyone outside of your household because our bylaws specifically prohibit this. Since it is a household membership, we can refund your membership and use those funds to purchase one for someone else in your household (using the same membership number) in one easy process. This requires the stockholder to fill out a quit claim request form (to relinquish the stock) and approval from our Board of Directors. After these steps have occurred, the original stockholder’s name can be changed to the new stockholder’s name in the household. Note: The process can take up to a month as it is dependent on the schedule of board meetings. A member-owner passed away. What happens to the membership? The surviving partner or executor of the estate has a couple of options: 1. Deactivate the membership, leaving the equity invested in the member-owner’s name to continue benefiting the community and cooperative. Co-op membership mailings will cease. 2. Complete a quit claim request form for the deceased, requesting to change the stockholder’s name to that of another household member. The membership will stay active in that new name. You may also request a full refund of the membership to be issued; in this case, membership will completely cease. I was a member-owner decades ago, but haven’t shopped. Am I still a member-owner? It is very likely! We’ll need to look up your membership to check the status to be sure. Please send us a message with your name (including any previous names you went by and other household members’ names that the account could have been listed under, or the address where you lived back then). Your account is most likely inactive and will simply need to be re-activated by shopping and/or making an equity payment if it is not paid in full. Note: In 1990, the price of membership stock at Mississippi Market was raised from $6 to $80. All member-owners were given the choice to continue membership at the new rate or discontinue membership. Those who discontinued in 1990 are not found in our current system and will need to start fresh with a new membership. Patronage Dividend Info What is a patronage dividend? Patronage dividends (also known as patronage refunds) are your share of the co-op’s profits, distributed back to you. After the close of our fiscal year (June 30), our board will review our financials and if we have had a profitable fiscal year, they will decide what amount is appropriate to be retained and what amount should be distributed to member-owners. That total dividend amount is then divided among member-owners in proportion to the individual amount each spent over the past fiscal year. How much is a patronage dividend? The amount of your patronage dividend depends on how much profit the co-op made in the previous fiscal year (July 1-June 30), what major expenses are planned for the next year, and how much each member-owner spent last year. Each year the board must weigh these considerations to determine how much (and if) a patronage dividend distribution should be made. Shopping only occasionally may mean a dividend of a few dollars each year, while being one of our top shoppers could mean you receive over $100! Note: Patronage dividends are not taxable income if the purchases were for personal/household use. When do I get a patronage dividend? Each October you will receive an annual report for the cooperative and if we have a profitable fiscal year, a report of your own spending with notification of the dividend. These are usually distributed as an electronic credit that may be spent at the register. Note: If you are a LIME member, your patronage dividend is applied to your membership equity until you have reached the full $90 membership investment cost. After that point, you will receive patronage dividends similar to other member-owners.