PCC Community Markets Awards $30,000 to Nonprofits Addressing Food Insecurity Across the Downtown Seattle Community
(SEATTLE, September 16, 2021) – PCC Community Markets (PCC), one of Seattle’s original grocers and the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., today announced the recipients of its Downtown Seattle Food Access Grants. The co-op awarded six, $5,000 grants focused on addressing food insecurity through the purchase of organic goods 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. These grants come at a time when the community still struggles with challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rate of food insecurity in King County nearly doubling in 2020.
Roy McCree, Northwest Harvest’s SODO Community Market Manager, commented 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.”
The PCC Downtown Seattle Food Access Grant program is a result of conversations the co-op had with the community – including food banks and meal agencies – when discussing the upcoming opening of PCC’s Downtown location. The opening of that store shifted from this year to early 2022, but the co-op was determined 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,” said 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, always balancing economic, social and environmental impact. The grants align with the co-op’s mission to ensure good food nourishes the communities it serves. Grant recipients will use the funding in a range of ways including 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. All proceeds from the Program go directly to purchasing nutritious food for the PCC community. You can learn more about the Program and donate, here.
Following are additional statements from grant recipients:
“Native people have a rich history of healthy food systems that were disrupted from centuries of policies to remove us from our traditional lands and ways,” said Socia Love-Thurman, MD, Chief Health Officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board. “We raise our hands up to PCC for providing this partnership to care for our families in a good way, that will empower our relatives through access to a healthy food while in community with others.”
“We are grateful to our partners at PCC for supporting our food access programs at Pike Place Market that make farm fresh produce and protein available to our neighbors living on low and fixed incomes,” said Lillian Sherman, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Foundation. “Access to fresh, healthy food in the Market nourishes our community and supports our local farmers – it’s a win-win for everyone.”
“For 46 years, the Puget Sound Labor Agency has worked to ensure food security for any and all residents in need. Since the pandemic began, we have faced many unforeseen challenges, but also revamped how we create a safe, healthy space for our clients. Our home is now in Georgetown, which is considered a food desert due to the lack of easily-accessible, high-quality foods. We remain committed to serving our Belltown clients by organizing pop-up distributions in partnership with several apartment buildings in the heart of the city, but continue to reach out to potential clients. This is a place where community is built to last; the needs of our clients and the relationships we build are more important to us than traditional methods of distribution. At PSLA, relationships, dignity, and healthy living always come first.”
“We are grateful to receive this generous grant that will go toward supporting community members in need in Asian, Pacific Islander and other underserved communities,” said G de Castro, Director of ACRS Aging and Adult Services. “During these continued uncertain and challenging times, every bit – both big and small – go a long way, and we deeply appreciate the partnership with PCC to continue serving the community.”
About PCC Community Markets
Founded in Seattle in 1953, PCC Community Markets (PCC) is a certified organic retailer and 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 over 800 local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers.
The co-op’s mission is to ensure that good food nourishes the communities it serves, while cultivating vibrant, local, organic food systems. With an active membership of more than 95,000 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.
In 2020, PCC gave more than 60% of pretax earnings to members and the communities it serves. This includes the co-op’s first-ever member dividend and support of nonprofits around the Puget Sound area such as Ventures, Washington Farmland Trust and FareStart.