NCG and Partners Raise $150,000 to Rebuild Cooperatives in Puerto Rico


National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and 10 partners within the natural and 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—most ranging from $2,500-5,000—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 and 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 of 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
  • Guayaki
  • Natural Factors
  • New Hope Network
  • Newman’s Own Foundation
  • Nutraceuticals, Corp.
  • OCHO Candy
  • Tea Tree Therapy
  • United Natural Foods

This donation is also part of NCG’s pledged 8,000 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 at Be sure to post your acts of kindness on social media using the hashtag #Coops4Kindness.

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