A few nickels here and a couple of quarters there added up for local charities on the Key Peninsula.
For less than a dollar, a grocery run to Key IGA this year could help feed neighbors in need, promote awareness about the art community, help beautify the community or even make improvements to the Key Peninsula Civic Center.
This is the first year Key IGA, formerly Food Market before being bought and renamed in early 2023, has done the Round Up at the Register program, raising just over $29,000. The program encourages customers to round up their total at checkout to the nearest dollar, so each contribution can be anywhere between a penny and 99 cents. It’s one of the easier – and more affordable – ways to help support nonprofits year-round.
“It’s tough out there right now,” said Kip Bonds, the longtime store manager under its old and new owners. “There’s a lot of people struggling and (this) helps a lot.”
The amount collected for the program typically mirrors the store’s foot traffic. Customer visits peak in the summer and in December, so it is no surprise the store’s two most generous months brought in $4,605 in December for the KP Community Services and $4,320 for the Longbranch Improvement Club in July.
Willow Eaton, executive director of KP Community Services, said, “Our small but mighty community has once again shown its generous spirit; we couldn’t be more grateful.” She said the funds will help her organization launch new initiatives like expanding its meal delivery program, starting a homelessness diversion program and improving its outreach efforts.
Bonds said the nonprofits he partners with are ecstatic with the results so far, and he shares in their excitement when he checks daily donation amounts.
“You never know how much it’ll be,” he said. “Sometimes it’s $30, or sometimes it’s $300.” The store averaged $3,500 a month in round up donations last year.
Food Backpacks 4 Kids was the August recipient of $3,456, which helped the organization get the school year started right, according to FB4K Director of Communications Michelle Johnson. FB4K provides 150 backpacks of nutritious food for hungry students across the Peninsula School District.
Currently, the Key IGA relies on its cashiers asking customers if they want to round up their total, but the store hopes to have the question pop up on their credit card keypads sometime this year.
Bonds said 100% of the donations go right to the nonprofit within a week after the month ends. The store hosts a small check presentation the first week of every month to recognize the previous month’s recipient.
The check to the nonprofit says Key IGA on it, but Bonds is quick to point out that the total amount is entirely from the KP community. Key IGA and its owner do not receive any tax benefits from these donations.
This year through the round up program Key IGA customers can support the Friends of Key Center Library (January), Angels Among Us Humanitarian (February), KP Beautification Project (March), KP Fire Department Lady of the Ashes Auxiliary (April), KP Civic Center Association (May), Bischoff Food Bank (June), Longbranch Cemetery Foundation (July), Gig Harbor Land Conservation Fund (August), Key Peninsula News (September), Two Waters Arts Alliance (October), KP Beekeepers Association (November) and KP Little League (December).
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS