NCGA Raising Money for Flood Victims

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) here said yesterday it would appeal to its member co-ops' suppliers and vendors across the country to help raise funds for family farmers in the upper Midwest affected by record-breaking floods that inundated the area last month.

To sweeten the pot, the association says it will match the first $50,000 raised.

"These organic farmers -- who are our friends as well as our business partners -- need more help," said NCGA c.e.o. Robynn Shrader in a statement. "The Upper Midwest represents the second-highest concentration of organic farmers in the nation. It's still too soon to assess, but the damage sustained could force many organic producers out of business and boost prices for consumers. Some farmers have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Others may not be back next year."

The initiative joins an effort currently underway by 20 co-ops nationwide -- most of them in the upper Midwest -- that have teamed up to raise more than $30,000 for Sow the Seeds so far.

NCGA sent a letter to suppliers and other vendors last week asking for support. "These organizations represent most brands that our member co-ops carry nationwide," explained Shrader. "We feel it's critical that we all stand side by side with the small family farmers who grow our organic food."

Individuals and organizations seeking to make a donation may visit or send a check made payable to "IATP/Sow the Seeds Fund") to Sow the Seeds Fund, c/o I.A.T.P., 2105 First Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

NCGA is a business services cooperative for 110 consumer-owned food co-ops throughout the United States.
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