Iowa City, Iowa — National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and 10 partners within the natural/organic foods industry have made a $150,000 contribution to the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) Disaster Recovery Fund. The fund currently supports the reconstruction of Puerto Rican cooperative businesses destroyed last year by Hurricane Maria.
Cooperative businesses typically recirculate more money within their local economies than traditional businesses, making an investment in this sector particularly valuable to Puerto Rico’s long-term recovery. Working with La Liga de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico, CDF is distributing the funds as grants to cooperative businesses seeking assistance, the majority of grants are between $2,500-5,000.
“Disaster relief for Puerto Rico has been slow to manifest and is woefully underfunded. With the 2018 hurricane season underway, our donation will provide much-needed funds to the vibrant and vital co-op community in Puerto Rico.” said Ben Nauman, Senior Director of Purchasing, NCG. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to partner with natural/organic brands to showcase the power of cooperation and help foster a more stable economy on the island.”
“CDF greatly appreciates National Co+op Grocers and its partners for this generous donation,” said Leslie Mead, Executive Director, CDF. “This grant will allow us to continue to provide recovery help to the 227 member-owned businesses that are important social and economic contributors to communities across the island. The money raised by NCG and partners will have a wide-ranging impact and touch many lives.”
NCG convened the fundraising effort as part of its annual grocery and wellness conference and tradeshow, Co+nvergence, held July 23-26 in St. Paul, Minn. More than 350 retail food co-op grocery and wellness buyers attended, joined by nearly 600 representatives from natural and organic grocery and wellness companies.
NCG extends appreciation and gratitude to all partners who contributed so generously, including Newman’s Own Foundation which made an inspiring contribution of $50,000 to kick off fundraising efforts and United Natural Foods (UNFI) which contributed an additional $10,000 during the event. Donating partners included:
- Applegate Farms
- Natural Factors
- New Hope Network
- Newman’s Own Foundation
- Nutraceuticals, Corp.
- OCHO Candy
- Tea Tree Therapy
This donation is also part of NCG’s pledged 8000 acts of kindness for 2018. Learn more about how co-ops across the country are working together to make the world more equitable, humane and kind with #Coops4Kindness.
National Co+op Grocers (NCG), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCG helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 146 member and associate co-ops operate more than 200 storefronts in 37 states with combined annual sales of nearly $2.1 billion. NCG is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a certified B Corp. Find a map of NCG member and associate co-ops. To learn more about co-ops, visit www.strongertogether.coop.
The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation headquartered in Washington, DC that promotes community economic and social development through cooperatives. CDF is a thought leader in the use of cooperatives to create resilient communities, including the housing and care needs of seniors. Through its funds, fiscal sponsorships, and fundraising, CDF provides grants and loans that foster cooperative development domestically and abroad. CDF’s Cooperative Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding cooperative leaders at the National Press Club in Washington, DC each year. http://www.cdf.coop/
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