What a Cooperative Web We Weave

Yesterday, the annual report of the NH Community Loan Fund arrived in my mailbox. It was the best news I’ve had all month.

Inside were stories of the Contoocook Creamery (delicious), the Littleton Food Co-op (not so little any more), and two new resident-owned communities established in Enfield and Canaan (think co-ops for manufactured homes. Excellent idea!)

What does this have to do with the Hanover Co-op and its stores?  A lot, as it turns out.  Sixteen years ago, the Co-op Board established the Hanover Cooperative Community Fund, which raised money and contributed it to the California-based Twines Pines Cooperative Fund. TPCF in turn invested this seed capital in co-op development projects in New England and across the U.S.

Our endowment in Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation started out at $5,000. Today it is $428,000 and climbing and best of all, TPCF is one of the largest investors in the NH Community Loan Fund. All of these funds were raised by charity events sponsored by Co-op employees and generous donations from Co-op members. What a cooperative web we weave!

But wait, there’s more!

TPCF pays a modest interest to its member co-ops. This year the Hanover Cooperative Community Fund will use the proceeds to launch two new projects that honor a Co-op legacy and complement our wonderful Pennies for Change program.

The HCCF Gerstenberger Scholarship Fund honors the memory of past managers, Harry Gerstenberger and Arthur Gerstenberger as well as our first Education Director, Sally Gerstenberger. The Scholarship Fund is earmarked for members and employees of co-ops serving the Upper Valley. If you’re interested in broadening your knowledge of co-operatives – and what makes them engines of community economic health and innovation – this scholarship fund is meant for you. It can be used to fund attendance at college-level classes, co-op conferences, and co-op workshops.

Dec. 1 is the deadline for applications, which are available here:


The HCCF Community Projects Grant is designed to help Upper Valley non-profits with targeted financial assistance up to $2500.  The Grant program supports groups working in 1) Food access and production; 2) Community building, including support of regional agriculture; 3) Promotion of cooperative principles and activities; and 4) Environment, energy and sustainability. If you know a local non-profit working in these areas, please direct them to


Deadline for applications is Dec. 1 so this could become a very nice holiday gift!

Harrison Drinkwater, on behalf of the HCCF Committee (Rosemary Fifield, Amanda Charland, Terry Appleby, Ed Fox, Liz Blum, Benoit Roisin, April Harkness)

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Board of Directors

The Board represents all the member-owners in developing and maintaining the vision and long-term viability of the Co-op. Learn more at coopfoodstore.coop/board. If you have any questions or comments, please email the board at bod@board.coopfoodstore.com.

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