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    Co-Op Grocers Group to Laud Communities for Sustainability

    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) -- a business services cooperative representing more than 109 natural food co-ops nationwide -- is holding its first-ever contest to honor local community members for their work in sustainable foods.

    IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) -- a business services cooperative representing more than 109 natural food co-ops nationwide -- is holding its first-ever contest to honor local community members for their work in sustainable foods.

    Called "Cooperate for Community," the contest, which runs through Sept. 14, 2007, seeks nominations of community members who deserve recognition for their outstanding work in the field of sustainable foods. The organization will accept nominations at participating food co-ops.

    Local winners will advance to a national competition sponsored by NCGA and Frontier Natural Products Co-op, a wholesale cooperative specializing in natural and organic products, for a chance to win $7,500 toward a charity of their choice.

    "You may know someone who started a neighborhood organic garden, or a parent who has tirelessly lobbied for school lunches with local ingredients," said Robynn Shrader, NCGA's c.e.o. "We're always hearing about people, and we know a few ourselves, who are doing incredible work for sustainable food. At the same time, they are cooperating with community members in a way that benefits as many people as possible. These are the special individuals and organizations we'd like to honor."

    Judges in each participating co-op's community will select two local finalists, and a winner who will be announced on or around Sept. 24, 2007. The prizes for local finalists and winners will vary.

    Local winners will then advance to the national contest, where a panel of judges designated by NCGA and Frontier Natural Products Co-op will select the national finalists and winners, who will be announced on or around Oct. 8, 2007. Two national finalists will win $2,500 toward the non-profit of their choice; the national winner will receive $7,500 toward the non-profit of his or her choice.

    The "Cooperate for Community!" contest is being held during the months leading up to October's National Co-op Month, which is dedicated to celebrating the cooperative business model and informing communities about the purpose and values of co-ops. For more contest information, visit www.ncga.coop/contest.

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