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BJ’s Wholesale Club has introduced a company-wide philanthropic initiative to help end hunger. The Launched in partnership with hunger relief organization Feeding America, “BJ’s Feeding Communities” program aims to donate 10 million pounds of fresh produce and frozen meat and fish annually. Under the program, BJ’s more than 190 locations will contribute unsold produce, meat and fish to 44 food banks in the retailer’s 15-state trade area.
Every day, BJ’s associates will collect unsold food and prepare it for delivery directly to the food banks, where it will be sorted and prepared for distribution.
“With so many individuals unable to obtain a healthy, fully balanced meal, and with national funding for food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries recently being cut by 40 percent, it is senseless to throw away perfectly good, nutritious food, such as a ripe banana, just because it is about to reach its peak of freshness and will not sell in our club,” said Laura Sen, CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s, adding that the company “has the resources, means and responsibility to assist our communities.”
Additionally, to help with the logistics of transporting food from its clubs to the food banks, BJ's is giving $150,000 to Feeding America and inviting its online fans to provide further support through the “Tell Hunger to Hit the Road” campaign on the retailer’s Facebook page. For every new “like” or “share,” BJ’s will donate another $1 to Feeding America, on top of the $150,000 that the company has already committed to meet the transportation costs. The campaign runs through Dec. 31.
“The rising price of gas and the costs associated with delivering food to food banks and hunger relief agencies is a major roadblock,” explained Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Chicago-based Feeding America. “By inviting the Facebook community to Tell Hunger to Hit the Road, BJ’s is helping Feeding America tackle this problem and will help ensure that the food ultimately ends up on the tables of those who need it most.”