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Food program and grocer partner to feed community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2011
Contact: Ryan McCambridge, Linn Benton Food Share, 541-752-1010

Food program and grocer partner to feed community
Market of Choice kicks off Scan Program and donates food

CORVALLIS, Ore. – To help meet the hunger needs in the mid-Willamette Valley, Linn Benton Food Share’s newest community partner is launching a Scan Program that makes it easy for customers to contribute to the local food program when they shop for groceries.

Those who shop at Market of Choice at 9th & NW Circle Blvd. can give to the food program by electing to scan a $1, $5, or $10 coupon, which is added to the customer’s total at checkout and then 100 percent is donated to Food Share. For tax purposes, the store receipt serves as documentation of the donation.

"This is a really easy opportunity for our customers to give back to their community in a very meaningful way,” said Market of Choice CEO Rick Wright. “We implemented a similar scan program in Eugene several years ago, and it’s made a marked difference in the food program there. We’d like to have that same kind of impact here in Corvallis."

Since 1996, Market of Choice customers have contributed $819,000 (76%) of the more than $1 million that have been raised through the Scan Program to benefit Food for Lane County recipients. Currently, Market of Choice is the only Corvallis grocery store to participate in the program.

“We were both surprised and grateful when Market of Choice called and said they wanted to do the Scan Program here,” said Ryan McCambridge, Linn Benton Food Share Coordinator. “I know how much it has helped the food bank in Lane County, and I’m excited to see the people in our community embrace it.”

In addition, Market of Choice is donating approximately 5,500 pounds of food per month to Food Share. Donated food includes products that are close to code date but still perfectly fit for human consumption, such as dairy, produce, baked goods and groceries, as well as gourmet prepared foods that would otherwise go to waste.

“Supporting Food Share in its mission simply reinforces our own values as a company; and that’s caring about the community, being sustainable and minimizing waste,” Wright said.

Market of Choice is one of six area grocers that contribute to Food Share in this way, McCambridge said. Food Share then distributes the food to emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, child and senior centers, shelters and gleaning groups.

“This is very high quality, nutritious food that would otherwise be unattainable to the food bank,” said McCambridge. “Market of Choice’s contribution will provide 2,750 meals per month for those in our community who have to choose between paying their bills, purchasing medications, or buying food.”

More than 37 percent of those receiving emergency food assistance through Food Share are children.

“Children are very near and dear to us, so it’s very rewarding to be able to help families put food on the table,” Wright said. “Our hope, of course, is that our customers will participate in the Scan Program when they shop with us.”

About Market of Choice
Market of Choice offers a relaxing, enjoyable shopping experience and an extensive selection of conventional, natural, organic and whole health products at affordable prices. Employed by friendly people who care about the communities where they live and work, Market of Choice has eight stores in Oregon, located in Corvallis, Eugene, Portland, West Linn and Ashland. To learn more, go to www.marketofchoice.com.

About Linn Benton Food Share
Linn Benton Food Share, a program of Community Services Consortium, has been committed to fulfilling its goal that “Everybody Eats” since 1981. Through its network of 74 agencies, the Food Share attempts to feed those who cannot feed themselves or their family. Food Share solicits, transports, stores and distributes nearly 4.7 million pounds of food each year to its 74 network agencies. The estimated value of the food Linn Benton Food Share distributes is $7.9 million annually. To learn more, visit http://www.csc.gen.or.us/foodshare.htm.

About Community Services Consortium
CSC is the state-designated Community Action Agency serving Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. CSC provides a wide range of services to low and moderate income individuals and families. CSC helps with employment, job training skills, food, housing, weatherization, housing rehabilitation, education and volunteer opportunities. For more information, or to support CSC and its many programs, please contact CSC’s administrative office at (541) 752-1010 or visit www.communityservices.us.