We are pleased to announce that the Port Townsend Food Co-op won the small store retailer, Neighborhood Health Improvement category in the 2012 Food Marketing Institute Community Outreach Awards for our Beans for Bags Program. For this, we will receive a plaque as well as $1,000. The money will be used for more outreach into our community.
It just goes to show that something as small as a bean or a nickel can make a big difference.
“Every bean is equal to one and two-thirds pounds of food from Food Life Line, where we order our food from,” said Shirley Moss, the Jefferson County Food Bank manager. “If we didn’t have the contribution from the Food Co-op it would be very difficult to provide for all of these people. We served 325 families [on the] Wednesday after Thanksgiving. That’s a massive amount for us on a normal day.”
Every year, our food co-op gives over $27,000 to Jefferson County organizations in charitable contributions which includes Beans for Bags donations. In 2012, the Bean donation total topped $8,000 – a new record! In the last five years, the Food Co-op has given back a total of $37,845.19 to the community through this program.
The Food Co-op has never given out plastic bags and has always encouraged member/owners to bring their own bags as well as their own containers for produce and bulk food. In 2008, we began the Beans for Bags Program in which we gave our member/owners the choice of receiving either a nickel refund for each container or bag they bring for their groceries, or a bean worth five cents which they can drop in their choice of glass gallon jars designated for three local non-profit organizations. One of those three non-profit organizations is always the county food bank. The other two choices come from nominations made by the member/owners themselves. Those organizations typically serve local schools including Head Start, the local NAMI chapter, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, the homeless shelter, the animal shelter, the public library, the local hospice, a free clinic, United Good Neighbors, local farmer support, Habitat for Humanity, and an abused women’s shelter, among others.
We thank our Co-op shoppers for their generosity and strong support of the Beans for Bags Program.