DENVER (September 8, 2020) — CoBank, a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United State, today announced it has committed $200,000 to support disaster relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Laura. Contributions will include:
- A $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross to support its relief efforts.
- A $50,000 donation to the ALEC Hurricane Relief Fund established by the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives to assist the many electric cooperative employees who have been displaced or otherwise impacted by the hurricane.
- A $50,000 fund to match the hurricane relief contributions of CoBank customers.
Hurricane Laura made landfall on August 27 as a category 4 hurricane and tied with a hurricane from more than 160 years ago as the strongest storm to hit Louisiana. Although Laura weakened as it moved inland, it inflicted billions of dollars in damage on southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. As of September 3, at least 24 deaths had been attributed to the storm. In several communities, resulting power outages are expected to continue for several weeks.
“Hurricane Laura has had a significant impact in rural communities in Louisiana and Texas,” said Thomas Halverson, CoBank’s president and chief executive officer. “We deeply appreciate the efforts of the many organizations working to help people and communities impacted by storm and hope that our contributions will help those who are affected as they begin to recover. CoBank is committed to doing our part and we urge our customers to take advantage of the CoBank matching fund to increase the delivery of assistance and resources to their local communities.”
“The Association of Louisiana Cooperatives and its member Cooperatives are extremely grateful to CoBank and its employees for this donation to support our member employees who have lost their homes to Hurricane Maria,” said Jeff Arnold, chief executive officer of the Louisiana Association of Electric Cooperatives. “We estimate more than 40 electric co-op employees have either completely lost their homes or have enough damage that their home is no longer inhabitable. This assistance will go a long way in rebuilding our Louisiana cooperatives families.”
CoBank Matching Fund
CoBank’s Hurricane Laura Disaster Relief Fund will be available through October 31 or the point at which the fund is fully exhausted, whichever comes first. The fund will be operated on a first come, first served basis and is open to any CoBank customer or Farm Credit organization that makes a charitable contribution to support Hurricane Laura relief efforts. Preference will be given to customers operating within the impacted areas.
Customers may apply for a matching grant by completing the application form.
Questions about the program and/or completed applications may be directed to Sherry Johnson, director of Corporate Social Responsibility at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-740-6518.
CoBank is a $152 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.