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With local food banks facing shortfalls this spring, supercenter pioneer Meijer, Inc. is relaunching its “Simply Give” food donation program to help restock the shelves of 185 local food pantries throughout the Midwest.
"The need to restock and replenish our local food banks and food pantries is greater than ever, so we are encouraging our customers to join us again in reaching out to lend a helping hand to those in need," said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer "We're committed to making a difference in all the communities where we do business, and this is just another example of the importance we place on being an active member of the community."
The food donation program, which will run from April 5 through May 30, encourages Meijer shoppers to purchase a $10 Meijer Food Pantry Donation Card at special displays throughout the store, as well as inside Meijer gas stations and convenience stops. The Simply Give donation cards will then be converted into Meijer Gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store. (The $10 amount reflects a typical bag of groceries at Meijer.)
Meijer will once again seed the program with an overall donation of $100,000 in grocery gift cards that will be divided equally among all the participating food pantries. As part of the program, each Meijer store selected a local food pantry to receive its donations. Meijer plans on presenting the total donations to each local food pantry by early June, when local food banks and pantries expect greater demand for their services once schools close for the year.
The Simply Give program was initially introduced this past November in all markets served by the 185-store family-held chain that operates supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The program, which ran throughout the holidays, raised nearly $300,000, as Meijer customers donated $187,000 and Meijer contributed $100,000 in grocery gift cards to 185 local food pantries.
Upon purchasing the Simply Give donation, the Meijer customer keeps the food pantry card. If he or she would like to make a donation on someone's behalf, each food pantry card has a blank space to indicate that a donation was made in the name of someone as a gift.
Meijer donates more than 6 percent of its net profit annually to a broad group of charities and organizations throughout the five states where its stores are located. The Simply Give program drills down even deeper by ensuring the benefit is recognized in the same communities where Meijer stores are located.