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Giant Food LLC of Landover, Md., has designated March as its first-ever Military Appreciation Month. As well as offering to employ transitioning military veterans and their family members, Giant has joined forces with USO of Metropolitan Washington (USO-Metro) and USO Delaware for a third year to host an in-store giving campaign that will support the organizations’ programs across the Mid-Atlantic region.
To date, Giant has welcomed five veterans to its store management teams, and several additional offers are in the works. The Ahold USA chain is actively recruiting vets through such venues as Hero 2 Hired and RecruitMilitary.com, and will take part in several military-oriented career fairs in the area.
“At Giant, our military recruitment philosophy is focused on careers, not jobs,” explained Giant Food president Anthony Hucker. “We’re seeking energetic and enthusiastic military leaders who can translate the skills they’ve developed serving our country to lead our store teams in management positions to proudly serve our customers.”
To aid local USO chapters, every Giant store will sell healthy Snack Packs for the troops and accept $1, $3 or $5 monetary donations at checkout throughout the month. Each $7 Snack Pack contains a Giant brand nutrition bar, pretzel bar, drink sticks, fruit snacks, bottled water and CareOne hand sanitizer. Additionally, each location will feature a station where children can create cards for service members.
“Giant dedicating the month of March to our military community is a testament to how dedicated they are to supporting members of our Armed Forces and their families,” said Elaine Rogers, president and CEO of USO-Metro, noting the healthy Snack Packs would go to troops at all of the organization’s centers and airports in the Washington-Baltimore area.
Further, select Giant stores held a Canteen Night on March 1, at which coffee and doughnuts were served. Canteen Nights give customers the chance to speak with USO volunteers and learn more about how they can help service members and their families.
Giant first teamed with the USO-Metro and USO Delaware in March 2011 during the grocer’s 75th anniversary year. Following a month-long giving campaign, Giant delivered $108,000 and nearly 10,000 pounds of food to USO-Metro to help support its programs and establish a food pantry at Fort Belvoir, Va. Last year, Giant delivered $78,500 and more than 15,000 Care Packages to USO-Metro and USO Delaware. During both years, hundreds of soldiers received hand-decorated cards from children who created them at Giant’s card-making stations.
Giant operates 170 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs about 22,000 associates.