NCG, Industry Partners Raise $157K for Chef Sean Sherman's NĀTIFS Nonprofit

Sep 06, 2023

Saint Paul, MN – National Co+op Grocers (NCG) announced a collective donation of $157,050 to North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NĀTIFS), a nonprofit organization founded by Chef Sean Sherman.

NCG led the fundraising effort as part of its annual grocery and wellness conference and tradeshow, Co+nvergence, held August 1-4 in Saint Paul, MN. NCG’s $100,000 donation was augmented by industry partners including United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), which generously contributed $25,000 to the effort. More than 350 retail food co-op grocery and wellness buyers attended Co+nvergence, joined by more than 500 representatives from natural and organic grocery and wellness companies.

NĀTIFS was chosen as beneficiary to shine a light on its purpose to re-establish Native foodways in North America that generate wealth and improve health in Native communities.

NCG’s member-directed advocacy guidelines prioritize building partnerships that advance racial equity, food justice and food sovereignty in its food system work, and NĀTIFS’ focus on driving sustainable economic empowerment, health and prosperity into tribal areas through food-related enterprises exemplifies these goals.

"Wopida tanka, chi miigwech, muchas gracias and many thanks for the generous contribution to our nonprofit and for recognizing the importance of reimagining the North American food system. NCG and its partners’ support is a meaningful step towards reclaiming and revitalizing Indigenous food traditions,” said Sean Sherman, founder, NĀTIFS. "With this donation, we're able to continue our urgent mission to promote sustainable food systems and honor the culinary heritage of Indigenous communities. Thanks to everyone at National Co+op Grocers for believing in and contributing to our vision—your generosity inspires us to keep moving forward on this important journey.”

"NĀTIFS is doing inspiring work, bringing much needed attention to the economic and health crises facing Native populations in North America and actively building solutions to those inequities,” said C.E. Pugh, CEO at NCG. "Empowering communities to understand and engage in their food system is at the heart of all food co-ops, so NCG believes NĀTIFS’ model can be successful and make an enormous impact. We’re grateful that so many industry partners made contributions to this work, too.”

The following brands and companies joined NCG and UNFI in making donations. NCG extends a sincere thank you to our partners for their generosity and community spirit.

  • Acosta Sales & Marketing
  • Advantage Solutions Sales & Marketing
  • Alliance Sales & Marketing
  • American Flatbread
  • Casa Verde plant-based foods
  • Critical Mass Group Sales Management
  • Dirty Hands Natural Food Sales & Merchandising
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op
  • General Mills
  • Hain Celestial Group
  • Harbar tortillas
  • Health-Ade kombucha
  • Hippeas, Inc.
  • Meati Foods
  • MegaFood supplements
  • Natural Factors supplements
  • Presence Marketing
  • Richard’s Rainwater
  • SIMPLi foods
  • SPINS data technology
  • UNREAL Brands, Inc.

About NCG

National Co+op Grocers (NCG), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCG helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 158 member co-ops operate more than 230 storefronts in 39 states with combined annual sales of nearly $2.5 billion. NCG is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a certified B Corp. Find a map of NCG member co-ops. To learn more about co-ops, visit


North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NĀTIFS), founded by Chef Sean Sherman, and its Indigenous Food Lab and IFL Market, a professional Indigenous kitchen, training center, retail space and counter service eatery, are dedicated to addressing economic and health crises affecting Native communities by re-establishing Indigenous foodways, imagining a new North American food system that generates wealth and improves health in Native communities through food-related enterprises. For more, visit


Media inquiries may be directed to Eric Davis (, 612-202-9407).