This announcement was published in the May 15, 2018 edition of Co-op Weekly. Due to a technical issue, only part of our distribution list received last week's mailing, so we're sharing this announcement again this week.
The Cooperative Development Foundation received a $50,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation. The donation to CDF’s Cooperative Disaster Recovery Fund will be used to help cooperatives in Puerto Rico recover from damage caused last September by Hurricane Maria.
Newman’s Own Foundation is the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. Newman’s Own Foundation turns all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own products into charitable donations. To date, Paul Newman and Newman’s Own Foundation have given over $495 million to thousands of charities around the world.
CDF will work with the League of Cooperatives of Puerto Rico (La Liga de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico), a membership association of Puerto Rican cooperatives, to ensure that funds are used for the greatest impact, said CDF Executive Director Leslie Mead.
The Puerto Rican Cooperative Disaster Recovery program was started with a $30,000 grant from CDF to La Liga in March. With the funds, La Liga operates a small grants program, distributing assistance in $2,500 to $5,000 increments. Applications for assistance are reviewed by a committee made up of the League’s board of directors and two representatives from the League’s Cooperative Development group.
In addition to the grant from Newman's Own Foundation, National Co+op Grocers will help fundraise for the CDF Recovery Fund as part of its Co+nvergence event in July. The additional NCG money will be used to support disaster recovery in Puerto Rico as well.
“CDF is grateful to National Co+op Grocers for recommending our Disaster Recovery Fund to Newman’s Own Foundation,” Mead said. “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. We also appreciate the fundraising efforts of NCG for supporting this program.”
Hurricane Maria hammered Puerto Rico with 155 mile-per-hour winds on September 20, 2017, drenching the island with more than 30 inches of rain. While cooperative businesses on the mainland have been rebuilding after hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, recovery in Puerto Rico remains slow. More than seven months after the storm, electricity remains unreliable; the entire island experienced a blackout for a full day in April. Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long says it will take $50 billion to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by Maria.
The Cooperative Development Foundation 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.