Hurricane Recovery

The Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund was created by the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) to help co-ops and their members who experienced significant negative impact due to the Hurricanes of 2011. In keeping with the principle of cooperation among co-ops and the values of solidarity and self-help, our goal is to provide financial support in a manner that will help co-ops recover and rebuild as they continue to serve their members and communities in the long-term.

To date, the Hurricane Irene Recovery Fund has made grants to Arethusa Collective Farm, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Liberty Hill Farm (a member of Cabot Creamery Co-op / Agri-Mark), and Deep Root Organic Co-op and individual member farms.

Donating to the Fund:  We welcome all tax deductible contributions to the Irene Recovery Fund: 

  • To make an online donation, please visit
  • To make a donation by mail, checks should be made out to “CDF-Irene Recovery Fund” and mailed to:  Cooperative Development Foundation, 2011 Crystal Drive, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22202.

Applying to the Fund:

  • Who can apply?  The Fund will prioritize recovery assistance in this order: first to co-ops of all sectors that were impacted by the storms (e.g. food co-ops, agricultural co-ops, housing co-ops, energy co-ops and industrial, artisanal and service co-ops); second to individual co-op members who depend on their co-op for their livelihood (e.g. Farmer and worker co-ops, in which case such application should be made through the member’s co-op); and finally to family farmers in our region that supply food co-ops.  Note that this fund is not an alternative to insurance and funds will not be made available to enterprises or individuals who have not adequately protected their assets with typical business insurance.
  • How much money is available?  The Fund began with seed funds from the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) and the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) totaling $10,000 and is inviting additional tax-deductible contributions.  Because our resources are limited, use of funds will be focused on our priorities and the grant amount will be limited to a maximum of $5,000 per applicant (or half the Fund’s assets, whichever is less).
  • What kinds of expenses can be covered?  Applications to the Fund may be for clean up, repair or to replace damaged equipment or rebuild facilities.  Funds may also be used for damage and loss of saleable products, loan and mortgage payments, and testing for contaminants from runoff.  Applicants may propose other uses for funds in their application.  Funds cannot be used to replace lost sales or other uses of a speculative nature.
  • Who makes the decisions for funding?  The Cooperative Fund of New England, the Neighboring Food Co-op Association, and the NCGA are responsible for generating funding guidelines and for making all funding decisions in collaboration with the Cooperative Development Foundation.  The financial need of the applicant and the relative impact of the disaster on its continued operations are key criteria for funding decisions.  All decisions on applications are final.  Priority will be given to smaller co-ops, or those with otherwise limited assets that are not being served by other sources of funding.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis and successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible.

To download an application, please click here.