PCC Community Markets’ 2020 Giving Efforts Supported Local Food Systems, Organic Producers and Healthy Communities
The co-op donated 1.4 million meals and supported area partners focused on sustainability and social impact with more than $1 million in combined donations and funds raised by the PCC community
(SEATTLE, Feb. 25, 2021) – In 2020, PCC Community Markets (PCC), one of Seattle’s original grocers and the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., provided 1.4 million meals to neighborhood food bank and grocery rescue partners, nearly $710,000 in financial and in-kind support to social and environmental causes, and raised approximately $384,000 to support its local communities. Despite the myriad of challenges brought forth during the pandemic, PCC continued its work to build healthy, sustainable communities across the Puget Sound and beyond.
“Last year it was more critical than ever to show up and support our neighbors,” said Brenna Davis, PCC’s VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility. “We stayed true to our mission of nourishing the communities we serve while cultivating vibrant, local, organic food systems. We leveraged our 30-year food bank program to protect local farms, expanded our program that incubates diverse entrepreneurs by introducing a new grant, and even donated a hand sanitizing station to keep a community partner’s food distribution program operational.”
PCC operates on a triple bottom line, always balancing economic, social and environmental impact, and in 2020 this was shown through the co-op’s work to build resiliency in local food systems, supporting organic producers and building healthy communities.
Focus on Food Access: PCC Food Bank Program Innovation
In 2020, PCC continued its focus to make high-quality, organic, local food accessible to more people, contributing 1.7 million pounds of food and product to 40 grocery rescue partners. The PCC community came together, raising more than $250,000 for the member- and shopper-funded PCC Food Bank Program. PCC also supported turnkey pandemic relief efforts to local nonprofits like Northwest Harvest.
An essential component to the co-op’s work in supporting the emergency food system is its over 30-year-old food bank program. In response to COVID-19 restrictions last year, the program had to be reinvented. The result was a collaboration between PCC, the Neighborhood Farmers Markets and Harvest Against Hunger. The program contracted 16 food bank partners with 14 local family farms — who had lost their markets due to COVID — to purchase product directly. The program pivot to a “Farm to Food Bank” model focused on developing direct relationships between the farms and food banks to build greater resiliency in the local food system.
Commitment to Sustainable Food Systems
Last year, PCC furthered its commitment to farms, farmland and organic producers across Washington. Two key components of this work were the co-op’s ongoing partnership with Washington Farmland Trust (formerly PCC Farmland Trust) and its Organic Producer Grants. As part of PCC’s five-year commitment of $1 million to the Trust that concluded in 2020, the co-op provided financial support for the organization in its pursuit to protect threatened farmland in the state. PCC also supported organic producers with its second year of Organic Producer Grants. These grants are intended to help fund projects that will make a positive impact on the environment, operational needs and/or the recipients’ workforce. In 2020, grants were awarded to First Cut Farm, Cabrera Farm and Four Elements Farm.
Supporting Healthy Communities
PCC continued its work to foster vibrant and healthy communities through strategic partnerships, robust neighborhood and regional giving programs, and community grants:
- Strategic Partnerships. PCC worked with Ventures to incubate diverse entrepreneurs and small, locally owned businesses through a six-week Scaling for Success training and mentorship program. Through this partnership, PCC also introduced a new Diverse Entrepreneur Grant to support BIPOC, female and LGBTQIA+ Ventures’ entrepreneurs through microgrants. Through these programs, PCC featured six Ventures vendors on store shelves last holiday season.
- Neighborhood + Regional Giving. PCC understands it’s important to support organizations doing meaningful work across the Puget Sound as well as across the neighborhoods where it operates. Last year, PCC supported dozens of local nonprofits and organizations through in-kind donations and event sponsorships, with the goal to educate, interact with and develop community.
- Vendor Fundraisers: Through this program, PCC provides partners with retail space to raise funds for nonprofits. Last year, PCC sold products that benefitted Center for Whale Research, Long Live the Kings, and Washington Farmland Trust. In partnership with Organically Grown Company, it sold bagged apples whose proceeds benefitted farm-to-school programs at Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center, Green Plate Special, and EarthGen, formerly known as Washington Green Schools.
- Community Grants: PCC supports organizations that exemplify the spirit of the local community, and focus on environmental stewardship and social action. Last year, grants were awarded to organizations like Viva Farms, FEEST and the Food Innovation Network — a program of the nonprofit organization Global to Local.
To learn more about accessing PCC programs, please visit PCC Giving.
About PCC Community Markets
Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is the nation’s largest community-owned food market with an unmatched enthusiasm for making food from scratch. PCC is a haven for those who share a dedication to fresh, organic, seasonal food that is sustainably sourced from local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. With an active membership of nearly 90,000 households, PCC operates 15 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bellevue, Bothell, Burien, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Ballard, Central District, Columbia City, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle. The co-op also plans to open new stores in Downtown Seattle and Madison Valley and relocate its Kirkland location.