PCC's Downtown Seattle Food Access Grants come at a time when the community is still grappling with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PCC Community Markets has revealed the recipients of its Downtown Seattle Food Access Grants. The six $5,000 grants addressing food insecurity through the purchase of organic goods went to the following nonprofits: Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market, Pike Place Market Foundation, Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank, Puget Sound Labor Agency Food Bank, and Seattle Indian Health Board. The grants come at a time when the community is still grappling with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roy McCree, manager of Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market, noted that “the pandemic is continuing to wreak havoc on our communities here in Washington. So is hunger. Fresh fruit and vegetables are essential to good health, yet can too often be out of reach for people experiencing economic insecurity. This support from PCC will enable us to procure more fresh produce, increasing access to healthy fruits and vegetables for hundreds of people who visit our SODO Community Market each week.”
PCC’s grant program arose from conversations that the co-op had with the community, including food banks and meal agencies, ahead of the opening of the co-op’s Downtown location. When the store opening moved from this year to early 2022, PCC looked to find a way to provide immediate support to the local community.
“Last year, we provided 1.4 million meals to neighborhood food bank and grocery rescue partners, and we know there is still much more work to do this year,” noted Brenna Davis, PCC’s VP of social and environmental responsibility. “We learned through our outreach to the Downtown community that the need for emergency food services has never been greater. Through this program, we were able to connect with a range of services – some who are typically overlooked when it comes to food access.”
PCC operates on a triple bottom line, balancing economic, social and environmental impact, and the grant program is in line with its mission. Grant recipients will use the funding in various ways, among them providing access to high-quality, farm-fresh produce and eggs, as well as meat or meat substitutes, and hosting an Indigenous Vendors Market that will offer free farmers’ market produce to the indigenous and local communities. The funding for these grants comes directly from PCC members’ and shoppers’ donations to the co-op’s Food Bank Program, with all proceeds going directly to purchasing nutritious food for the PCC community.
Seattle-based PCC operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. The co-op also plans to open new stores in Downtown Seattle and Madison Valley, and relocate its Kirkland location. In 2020, PCC gave more than 60% of pre-tax earnings to members and the communities it serves.