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SEATTLE - In the wake of national headlines about flu vaccine shortages, PCC Natural Markets here is joining forces with several natural food and health product manufacturers to donate "Wellness Baskets" containing natural flu prevention and treatment alternatives to fire stations and food banks throughout the greater Seattle area today.
Participating manufacturers include NatraBio, Nature's Way, Odwalla, Kiss My Face, B&T, Nature's Gate, and Balance Bar. PCC community and public relations manager Diana Crane told Progressive Grocer that response from vendors has been "just wonderful."
"Fire fighters and food bank employees have contact with the general public on a daily basis, but neither group qualified for the scarce flu shots this year," explained PCC c.e.o. Tracy Wolpert in a statement. "The public -- and those who serve the public -- should know that there is a wide array of natural foods that boost the body's immune system to fight colds and the flu, as well as many homeopathic treatments for making flu recovery easier and faster."
The idea of giving natural flu-fighting products to fire stations and food banks came from a conversation a PCC staffer had with a friend who doesn't qualify for a flu shot but, as a single mother and Seattle fire fighter, is afraid that she won't be able to take care of her daughter or report to work if she gets the flu. Soon after, a coordinator at one of the eight food banks that partner with PCC under its Cash for the Hungry program shared her concern that a flu outbreak might reduce the number of clients her staff can serve, as well as make her personal style of greeting food bank clients with a hug a dangerous practice. PCC's goal is that the donated "Wellness Baskets" will keep these essential employees healthy throughout the holiday and flu season.
The "Wellness Baskets" contain flu relief tablets, lozenges, vitamin C, medicinal and green teas, nutritional bars, and cough and bronchial syrup, as well as antiseptic liquid soap, cold and flu room spray, and cold and flu bath and shower gel.
Crane said that the company was hoping through the initiative to generate media interest that would lead consumers to realize that by going to PCC, they could find all of the natural flu prevention and treatment products they need.
Owned and operated by nearly 35,000 active members, PCC Natural Markets is a seven-store chain of natural food markets in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. PCC has locations in Fremont, Greenlake, Issaquah, Kirkland, Seward Park, View Ridge, and West Seattle.