Post-Fire Updates from the BFC Board

The first Bushwick Food Cooperative meeting held after the July 3rd fire took place on Monday, July 8th from 7-9pm at The Loom. Led by the BFC board, the meeting provided an opportunity for all BFC owners to hear updates about the state of the co-op, plans for rebuilding, and participate in a focus feedback session.

Fran Sanhueza, BFC General Manager gave a detailed account of the fire damage and thanked everyone who came forward to volunteer, offer resources, make donations, and reiterate their commitment to BFC. The swift response and organization by Fran and Laurel Garnett, BFC Sourcing Manager, placed the co-op in a good position for the next steps in the recovery process. 

The Fire Marshall Incident Report should be publicly available within a few days, and Fran will provide the incident number to all owners when it is ready. Owners of the co-op have been specifically asked to not contribute to rumor and word of mouth about cause of fire, as this may damage our ability to work with building management and insurance. 

Amy Rahe, BFC Board Treasurer, gave updates on the insurance process and outlined the coverage areas and next steps in the process.

During the recovery process, the board is the legal decision maker for the organization.

The board commits to transparency and weekly communication to all BFC owners and will lead all operational recovery activities including financial, legal, communication, and fundraising. In order to accomplish this the Board would like to create a Response Task Force to include all committee co-chairs and any owners or committee members that wish to participate. This group will principally be implementing communications and fundraising strategy in Recovery period. There will be conference calls, likely weekly. 

While fundraising will be a big part of the recovery process, the strategy and planning steps will wait until we have a better understanding of the insurance, building, and legal situation. More info will be available at a later date. 

The Board designates Fran Sanhueza, GM to lead community and cooperative partnerships, store and staff operations. Fran designates Laurel Garnet to lead all inventory & vendor relations.

Owner Work Requirement & Equity Payments are on hold during the recovery period.

Owners will have the opportunity to contribute volunteer time on projects as they are developed by Board, Recovery Task Force, and GM. 7Shifts have been wiped clean for the month of July. Announcements for project and volunteer opportunities will be put out through newsletter and social media feeds. Owners may use the reporting form in the Owner area of the website to report hours, especially volunteers from the day of the fire. Volunteer hours will be documented but the 3 hour work requirement will be suspended during the recovery period, so owners may “bank” hours.

The BFC Board and GM will provide weekly updates on the recovery progress, operations, projects, and events in the weekly newsletter format and social media feeds.

Owners should communicate questions, resource offers, partnership opportunities to the info@BushwickFoodCoop.org email, with the subject line: Fire Response.

Any external media requests should be directed to board@bushwickfoodcoop.org.


Kat Johnson