2013 Community Outreach Award Winners

PCC Natural Markets

The PCC Food Bank Program has supported communities served by Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets (PCC) since 1989. Originally known as Cash for the Hungry, the program relies primarily on cash donations from PCC shoppers for the purchase of nutritious bulk food. PCC uses 100 percent of these donations to purchase staples such as grains, pasta, beans and pancake mix, which are repackaged by volunteers at work parties held bi-monthly year-round at each of PCC’s ten partner food banks. The smaller bags of food, labeled with nutritional information and preparation instructions, are distributed to food bank clients. 

More than 1.3 million pounds of food have been distributed since the program began; 72,000 pounds in 2013 alone. PCC buys the food at wholesale prices, thereby stretching the buying power of customer contributions. The costs of packaging supplies, refreshments for work party volunteers and program promotion are donated by PCC, as well as staff time devoted to administering it. In addition to year-round food bank support, the PCC Food Bank Program includes four seasonal in-store cash-for-food drives. Program funding also comes from customers who are offered a 5 cent deduction from their PCC purchase total for each reusable bag they bring. More than 92 percent of shoppers eligible for this rebate elect to donate it. PCC allocates half of donated rebates to the PCC Food Bank Program and half to the PCC Farmland Trust, an independent program that works to preserve farmland in Washington State.

Program category:

Programs Addressing Food Insecurity

Fast Stats:

  • 1,440 Volunteer Hours
  • Annual donation: 7,200 lbs of food
  • Equivalent to 96,575 servings
  • Since 1989: 1.3 million lbs of food donated
  • 92 percent of shoppers donate reusable bag rebate

Quote from the CEO:

“The PCC Food Bank Program is a wonderful way to combine the generosity of our shoppers with the resources of our company and our partner food banks to respond to the ongoing need to reduce hunger in our neighborhoods. It is a successful model of outreach and support that can be easily replicated in communities across the country.” Tracy Wolpert, CEO