PCL offices across the country have raised money for food banks during the holiday season, something that is especially important this year as millions of Americans face food insecurity amid inflation and the 12.4% surge in food prices.
This annual giving tradition started after the Great Recession in 2009 when PCL saw a need to support local communities. The prevalence of food insecurity stands at over 10% today – equivalent to 38 million Americans who are unsure if they can afford to put dinner on the table for their families.
“For PCL, it’s not just about the buildings we build, it’s about the communities we support along the way,” said Deron Brown, PCL’s president and chief operating officer, U.S. operations.
After years of giving to and volunteering at Second Harvest Heartland in Minnesota, the PCL team was honored to build their new food bank, one of the nation’s largest. Second Harvest Heartland distributes more than 97 million meals each year to 1,000 food shelves and meal programs across 59 counties.
“Knowing PCL was part of building something that will help serve over 17,000 people per month throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin gave a whole new to meaning to what we do. It gave everyone extra motivation, and I am proud to say PCL continues to donate and volunteer time every year,” said Marcus Shurson, PCL superintendent.
The distribution center, which was built in 2020, includes community meeting spaces, a food processing area, 30,000 square feet of volunteer space and 90,000 square feet of dry, refrigerator and freezer areas. In total, the large freezer can accommodate a fleet of 30 trucks!
“The two primary goals of the project were to dramatically increase capacity to allow us to distribute two times the amount of food in our community, from 75 million meals to 150 million meals, and to create a multifunctional facility that enables us to achieve our mission of ending hunger together for decades to come,” said David Laskey, director of facility design and operations for Second Harvest Heartland.
“Canstruction” is a national competition where teams compete to design and build elaborate structures made entirely out of canned goods, and then donate the cans to local food banks.
PCL’s Southern California team built an award-winning structure, named the EnCANto Casita, inspired by the popular Disney movie, to help support the 400,000 people in Orange County who experience food insecurity.
The structure remained on display at the Festival of Children in Costa Mesa, California before the cans were delivered to the Orange County Food Bank. PCL teamed up with trade partners to procure over 5,000 canned goods and through this event alone, 55,000 meals were created and distributed to people in Orange County.
“Canstruction brought out everything PCL has to offer. The team didn’t just include engineers but we brought a variety of positions out to help at all levels of the build – from resource allocation to design to execution. It was a true team effort and at the end of the day it was much more than winning the award but knowing we helped put food on the tables for those in need,” said this year’s team captain, Myrna O’Shea, PCL administrative assistant.
In addition to continued donations to the Orange County Food Bank, PCL continues to donate monetarily as well as volunteer hours each year to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, San Diego Food Bank and the Golden Empire Gleaners in Bakersfield.
Families in Colorado are experiencing some of the highest inflation rates in the country and for the first time in Feeding America’s history, $1 helps distribute three meals rather than four. In 11 years, PCL has given nearly $50,000 to Food Bank of the Rockies and this year, the donation could not have come at a better time.
“Due to record high inflation, a significant decrease in donated food products and large shifts in manufacturing practices, the need for food in our community is still higher than pre-COVID levels,” said Chelsea Manley, Food Bank of the Rockies special events and promotions manager. “As an organization, we are spending over $1.3 million a month on average to purchase food. That is more than triple what we were spending pre-COVID to buy food. PCL’s continued support of our mission to end hunger in Colorado is greatly appreciated!”
Food prices in Hawaii are among some of the highest in the country leading to one in 10 people facing hunger. Since 2012, Nordic PCL has donated to the Hawaii Foodbank totaling $73,000 in donations to date, equivalent to more than 146,000 meals. To help accommodate the continued growth of this vital food bank in Oahu, which serves 287,000 people, Nordic PCL completed renovations and an expansion of the Foodbank in 2020, including existing offices and an addition of a second-floor office space.
Nordic PCL has also spread their giving to the Maui Food Bank where the company has donated a total of $10,000, equivalent to 40,000 meals.
This year, PCL celebrates 30 years of building in the Pacific Northwest and for 28 of those years, the company has donated to Seattle’s leading hunger relief agency, Northwest Harvest.
“Northwest Harvest is grateful to have such longstanding relationships with partners like PCL Construction,” said Nicholas Van Deren, Northwest Harvest Sr. philanthropy communications specialist. “This enduring commitment to helping communities through food drives and financial contributions is an essential step in bringing about change and establishing a just food system in Washington. Our decades long partnership with PCL demonstrates the importance of community and a shared vision of building a Washington where food and justice are never in short supply.”
PCL has a history of donating to various other food banks across the country including:
- Florida: Second Harvest Food Bank since 2009 and the Pantry of Broward since 2019.
- Arizona: St. Mary’s Food Bank since 2009 and Nourish Phx.
- Texas: Houston’s Food Bank for more than 12 years.
- North Dakota’s St. Joseph’s Food Pantry since 2018 and Northlands Rescue Mission since 2021.
“As we reflect back on PCL’s history of food bank giving, I am incredibly proud of the work our teams are doing year after year to help the millions of Americans facing food insecurity,” said Brown.