Businesses in Puerto Rico damaged by Hurricane Maria 2017 Getty Images

National Co+op Grocers and partners raise $150,000 to rebuild cooperatives in Puerto Rico

Cooperative Development Foundation Disaster Recovery Fund will distribute the proceeds as grants to support co-ops’ recovery from Hurricane Maria.

National Co+op Grocers and 10 partners within the natural/organic foods industry have contributed $150,000 to Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) Disaster Recovery Fund. The fund currently supports the reconstruction of Puerto Rican cooperative businesses that Hurricane Maria destroyed in September 2017.

Cooperative businesses typically recirculate more money within their local economies than traditional businesses, which makes an investment in this sector particularly valuable to Puerto Rico’s long-term recovery. Working with La Liga de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico, the development fund is distributing grants—generally between $2,500 and $5,000—to cooperative businesses seeking assistance.

“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 for National Co+op Grocers. “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.”

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, Minnesota.

“CDF greatly appreciates National Co+op Grocers and its partners for this generous donation,” said Leslie Mead, the Cooperative Development Foundation’s executive director. “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 extends its appreciation and gratitude to all partners who contributed so generously, including Newman’s Own Foundation which kicked off the fundraising with a contribution of $50,000, and United Natural Foods (UNFI), which contributed an additional $10,000. Donating partners included: ACURE, Applegate Farms, Guayaki, Natural Factors, New Hope Network, Newman’s Own Foundation, Nutraceuticals, Corp., OCHO Candy and Tea Tree Therapy.

 

Source: National Co+op Grocers 

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