Gadfly is satisfied that the Bethlehem Food Co-Op grant meets the funding criteria

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Gadfly would like to bring some closure to the discussion about whether or not the Bethlehem Food Co-op meets the criteria for funding by a Federal government CBDG grant.

Remember that the City approved $100,000 this year but that several residents raised reasonable questions, not about the mission of the Co-op (everybody is enthusiastic about that!) but whether it fit the guidelines for Federal funding.  (See “Co-op” on the Gadfly sidebar to refresh yourself on the discussion so far.)

At the November 6 City Council meeting (see Council video, min. 25), Gadfly (a BFC member) expressed support for the BFC but expressed desire that we had enough specific information about it to know that funding was “cleanly” done and that no “shadow” would fall on the BFC as it progressed forward.

In short, after obtaining additional information, Gadfly is satisfied that the BFC grant meets the funding criteria.

At the November 6 City Council meeting, a number of people spoke in support of the BFC funding (see video, part 1, min. 57:25 and video part 2, the opening 3:25 mins.).

Gadfly thought the presentation most effective at addressing in brief time the specific question of whether the BFC met the guidelines for CBDG funding in a positive manner was done by a woman whom he thinks was Colleen Marsh, past Head of the BFC (video part 2, the opening 3:25 mins.). Gadfly thinks you will find Colleen’s remarks a profitable 3 minutes.

Gadfly obtained the document package provided to prospective grant applicants plus both the 2018 and 2019 BFC applications for the CBDG grant via a Right-to-Know request to the City. Tip o’ the hat to the City staff.

As you can imagine, the paperwork for a government grant is long and dense.

But here are a few important highlights.

From the application package:


For fiscal year 2020, the BFC applied for $189,840 for physical improvements. The entire application (73 pages) is linked here: Bethlehem Food Co-Op 2019 application.

Here is a key “nutshell” statement of the project:


For most of us, the first 10 pages or so of BFC’s application will be the most pertinent. Gadfly always encourages followers to go to the primary source and make personal observation and judgments. But here are just a few selections from this opening portion of the application that struck him as fitting the grant guidelines:



There are Gadfly followers more skilled and experienced in such matters than he. Further comments, of course, always welcome.

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