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In response to an increasing number of consumers affected by the economic downturn in its core marketing territory, supercenter pioneer Meijer will provide thousands of free gift cards for needy families through local food pantries. The new program supplements Meijer’s “Simply Give” program, which raises money to help local food pantries restock their shelves.
“As unemployment has risen, there are a greater number of people relying on our local food banks,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “In addition to helping the food pantries stock their shelves, we also want to help families obtain items that are generally not available at food pantries, such as perishable foods or items for those with special dietary needs.”
Each Meijer store will provide 100 free gift cards, each valued at $10, to a local food pantry to distribute to needy families. Each of the 18,900 gift cards donated by the company will be accompanied by a letter from co-chairmen Hank and Doug Meijer.
This program comes on the heels the successful Simply Give program, for which the company joined forces with its customers to generate gift cards for food pantries to use to stock their shelves. To date, Meijer and its customers have raised more than $500,000 for local food pantries throughout the Midwest.
Meijer, which operates 189 supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, 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. Simply Give drills down even deeper by ensuring the benefit is recognized in the same communities where Meijer stores are located.