National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) today announced that participating members nationwide are raising funds for co-ops and co-op suppliers affected by the historic floods that devastated portions of the Midwest over the past several weeks.
NCGA, a business services cooperative for 109 consumer-owned food co-ops located throughout the United States, is collaborating with the Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (NCDF), which – through its 501( c)3 foundation – is making its Cooperative Disaster Relief Fund available as a collection and disbursement agent for donations.
“Once again, natural food co-ops and members are showing their compassion and appreciation for producers hurt by the recent floods,” said Bill Patrie, NCDFinterim executive director. “It’s heartwarming and remarkable to see communities support each other like this, and NCDF is pleased to be part of the effort.”
Shoppers at participating co-ops will be able to donate in four ways:
- Cash and spare change. Shoppers can donate cash and spare change at the register or customer service desk.
- By check. Shoppers can elect to drop off their checks made payable to Northcountry – Co-op Disaster Relief Fund at their participating co-op’s customer service desk.
- By mail. Individuals may mail checks directly to the fund at: Northcountry – Co-op Disaster Relief Fund, 219 Main St. S.E., Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55414.
- Online. People can elect to make a contribution directly to the fund using PayPal. Simply go to www.ncdf.coop and click on “Donate” followed by “Make a Donation,” and follow the instructions.
Co-ops and co-op farmer-suppliers who wish to apply for disaster relief will find an application and funding guidelines on the NCDF website.
NCDF will issue tax-deductible receipts for donations in excess of $250.
“The flooding has devastated Midwest communities and many of our small suppliers will struggle to stay in business,” said Robynn Shrader, NCGA's chief executive officer. “Some are very small farms offering community CSAs; others sell through maybe one or two co-ops. Others are extended family businesses providing for multiple generations. All their needs are great – especially when you consider last year’s floods affected many of the same areas.
“The cooperative spirit has been exemplified during these trying times. We thank NCDF for their important role and encourage those who are able to find some way to assist the impacted communities; whether through donations, volunteer time or other support,” she added.