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For the fifth time in less than 18 months, Meijer is inviting shoppers to help it restock the shelves of about 191 local food banks as part of its “Simply Give” food pantry donation program.
The two-month program — the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based regional grocer’s fifth such effort since the initiative’s inception in November 2008 — seeks to lend a hand to the increasing number of food pantries struggling to keep up with the growing demand for their services. Meijer’s latest “Simply Give” operation will run through May 15, while two other food drives are scheduled for the late summer and early fall of this year.
As in previous efforts, the program encourages Meijer shoppers to purchase a $10 Meijer Food Pantry Donation Card at special displays throughout the store. The donation cards are then converted into Meijer Gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store. As it has done in the past, Meijer is seeding the Simply Give program with $100,000 in grocery gift cards that will be divided equally among all of the participating food pantries.
“This program is a testament to the compassion our shoppers have toward their neighbors,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO and the eponymous family-held chain that operates 191 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
The four earlier Simply Give initiatives have raised more than $1 million in food donations that have gone directly to local food banks and pantries. Each one of Meijer’s stores has identified a local organization to receive the grocery donations.
In addition, the charitable-minded Meijer also 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 community where the specific Meijer is located.