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Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS) members are helping stock Pierce and Pepin County food shelves through the co-op’s charitable foundation Pierce Pepin Cares. At their October meeting, the Pierce Pepin Cares board awarded $16,000 in grants to eight food pantries; each received $2,000—Pierce County Food Pantry, Elmwood Food Pantry, Plum City Food Pantry, Prescott Area Food Shelf, River Falls Food Pantry, Spring Valley Community Food Pantry, Pepin County Food Pantry and Pepin-Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran-Food Pantry. The board also awarded a $1,500 grant to Prescott Fire Department for the purchase of AEDs and a $1,000 grant to St. Croix Valley SART to help provide mental health vouchers for victims of sexual assault.

The grant recipients expressed gratitude for the generosity of PPCS members who participate in Operation Round Up.  With each enrolled member contributing about $6 annually, the collective power of Operation Round Up is significant. For example, the impact of cash donations to food pantries is substantial.  Rising costs, supply chain issues, and the war in Ukraine are increasing challenges for the food shelves to keep their shelves filled.  They are having difficulties getting products like dairy and pasta. 

“We know that these grants covering the areas of public health, mental health, and food insecurity are critical to our communities’ overall health,” said Nate Boettcher, PPCS president and CEO.  “We know that higher prices for gas and food have hit many in our area very hard. The Pierce Pepin Cares board acted on behalf of PPCS members to support the important work of these three groups.”

PPCS members fund Pierce Pepin Cares by participating in Operation Round Up and rounding up their electric bills to the nearest dollar each month or donating a specific dollar amount.  The program provides charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations that offer programs and support projects to enhance the quality of life for those within the communities served by the cooperative. 

Pierce Pepin Cares grants are awarded quarterly by the Pierce Pepin Cares board of directors. Nonprofit organizations interested in applying may visit or call 800-924-2133 for information. The next application deadline is December 15.