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Rocking for a cause, the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) raised more than $30,000 for farmers impacted by recent flooding in the Midwest through a Sept. 19 music event in Seattle.
The Brooklyn-based band, The National, headlined the first-ever "Co-ops Rock!" event, which was created as a potential annual initiative to raise money to support sustainable food initiatives through a celebration of music and the co-op model.
In light of this year's flooding in the Midwest, NCGA selected Northcountry Cooperative Develop Fund (NCDF) Foundation's Cooperative Disaster Relief Fund, which provides disaster relief to farmers impacted by flooding, as the beneficiary for this year's event.
More than 1,500 attended the near sellout event, which also featured a video presentation on flood-impacted farmers in addition to music by opening act, Menomena.
"Over the past year, farmers nationwide have been hit hard by flooding and other natural disasters, and - unfortunately - it's realistic to think they'll be hit again in the future," Robynn Shrader, NCGA's c.e.o. "Meanwhile, cooperative grocers have a thriving community of customers who truly realize the importance of seeking cooperative ways to help others when they need it." Shrader said the event "is a fantastic template for future co-op fund raising events."
Organic Valley, Barbara's Bakery, Steaz Sodas and Small Planet Foods (Muir Glen/Cascadian Farms) were among the sponsors of the concert.
NCGA is a business services cooperative for 109 consumer-owned retail food
co-ops located throughout the United States, including PCC Natural Markets and Central Co-op's Madison Market in the Seattle area.