Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants
New for 2014!
As a community-owned food cooperative, City Market acts as a non-profit when we account for the profit we make from sales to our Members. Each profitable year, our General Manager recommends a Patronage Dividend to our Board of Directors. A portion of this Dividend is returned through a Patronage Refund check to eligible Members each November, based on their spending from the prior fiscal year.
According to City Market’s By-Laws, any Patronage Refunds that are not cashed within 90 days of issuance are donated to organizations supporting our local food system, as directed by our Board. Over the past three years, Member generosity has allowed the Co-op to donate over $93,000 to local non-profits like the Intervale Farmers Equipment Corp., The Intervale Center and the Vermont Farm Viability Program. In 2014, City Market created a new program to offer grants through our uncashed Patronage Refund checks; we're calling it Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants.
Through our Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants, City Market donates to Vermont non-profit organizations whose work strengthens our local food system. We do not donate or grant funds to individuals, partisan organizations, or organizations that advance a particular religious belief.
When Members receive their 2014 Patronage Refund checks (in November 2014), they will have the option to cash the check, pay Co-op equity, donate to Hunger Free Vermont, or choose not to cash the check and have the money donated to 5 local food projects that were chosen through our Co-op Patronage Seeding Grants program. During the summer of 2014, a Member Grants Committee reviewed applications and selected 5 projects that they submitted to the Board of Directors for approval. The Board approved funding the projects with uncashed Patronage Refund checks. The projects that were selected for funding from 2014 Patronage Refunds are Pine Island Farm: Chicken Collaborative, Living Well Group: Farm to Care Program, University of Vermont: Establishing a Swede Midge Damage Threshold for Brassica Crops, The Schoolhouse Learning Center: Taking Root: The Farm, Food, Forest (FFF) Program, and Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf: Food Shelf Mobile Pantry and Transport Trailer. Throughout the year, we will update each project page with news, photos, and progress.
Have a project that strengthens the local food system? Stay tuned for information on applying for our 2015 cycle! If you have questions about the Co-op Patronage Seedling Grants program, please email Allison Weinhagen, Director of Member Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.