BriarPatch Co-op is accepting applications through August 31 for grants of $200 to $1000. The natural foods grocer will donate a total of $2000 to the community this year from its Cooperative Community Fund. Local nonprofit organizations and cooperatives working in the areas of sustainable agriculture and organic food, hunger and social issues, and environmental protection are encouraged to apply. Stephanie Mandel with the Co-op says how Hennessey School used a grant last year.
“At Hennessey School in Grass Valley, they have done almost all the work for a compost bin system for their school lunch materials and we were able to give them the final funding that they needed to finish that. So now they do have that composting system in place there, so kids know that the food that they throw away can be made into something that’s useful and can help their school garden.”
Mendal explains how the grants are funded.
“It’s an endowment fund which means we have so many thousands of dollars in this fund and they generate interest income every year. So we always get some interest income. Although we do try to continue to build the fund with donations, like when you bring your own bag to Briar Patch you get five cents back or you can donate that to the community fund.”
Grants will be awarded in October. The endowment fund was established in 1999 by BriarPatch Co-op and Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, and has since supported thirty groups. Applications are available at the store at 290 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley, or can be downloaded from briarpatch.coop.