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As a way to celebrate its 25th anniversary of doing business, BJ’s Wholesale Club is asking the communities in which it operates clubs to amass 25 tons of groceries to help feed area needy families. In turn, BJ’s Charitable Foundation will contribute the financial equivalent of 1 million meals to Feeding America’s Food Bank network partners in communities surrounding BJ’s locations.
“Earlier this year, BJ’s became the first wholesale club in the industry to accept EBT food stamp benefits, demonstrating our commitment to the fight against hunger,” noted BJ’s president and CEO Laura Sen. “Our 25th anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to continue BJ’s support in providing food assistance to those who need it most.”
Through Nov. 8, BJ’s shoppers can place donated items in the “25-Ton Challenge” bins inside the company’s clubs. Donations should be nonperishables such as rice, pasta, beans, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, cereal, canned soup, spaghetti sauce and other tomato products, and juice. Chicago-based Feeding America will then distribute the 25-ton food donation and the 1 million meals via its food banks to food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs.
“The last year has been particularly challenging, with the need for food assistance increasing 30 percent across the country, and even more in some areas,” said Feeding America president and CEO Vicki Escarra. “The 25 tons of donated food from BJ's community members, along with the 1 million meals, made possible by their monetary donation, will go a long way to putting food in bellies of hungry families.”
Natick, Mass.-based BJ’s operates 184 clubs and 103 gas stations in 15 eastern states.