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ST. LOUIS -- As hours without power turned into days of hardship for many in the metro St. Louis area, prompting them to empty their freezers and refrigerators, Schnuck Markets, Inc. here decided to launch Operation Re-Stock, a scan-and-give fundraiser to benefit area residents served by The Salvation Army and Operation Food Search.
Schnucks is working with Emmis Communications to kick off the program, which will run through Aug. 27. The partners will invite customers to donate $3, $5, or $10 to the two charities to help needy fellow area residents restock to feed their families. The amount shoppers choose is scanned and added to their grocery bill.
"We believe that Operation Re-Stock is the most efficient way for Schnucks to partner with relief agencies in addressing the immediate need for food in homes throughout our community," said Scott Schnuck, president and c.e.o. of Schnuck Markets. "We know the challenges our customers face; we've faced many of the same over the past few days. We want to be there to help."
Schnucks is the single largest donor to Operation Food Search, giving more than $3 million in food donations annually.
“Typically, Operation Food Search serves 100,000 people each month and we expect that number to climb significantly over the next few days," said Operation Food Search executive director Sunny Schaefer. "The problem is that there is a serious shortage of food. Approximately 200 of our 300 pantries lost all perishable products during the power outage. Likewise, our grocery donors, including Schnucks, the largest contributor to our food bank, also experienced product loss so there is less food available. Operation Re-Stock will go a long way toward feeding St. Louis families in need."
Established in 1981 to address the growing problem of hunger, Operation Food Search has become the largest distributor of free food in the bi-state area helping to feed the region's poor. The program distributes more than one million pounds of food and household items to 300 community partner agencies that in turn feed 100,000 poor people every single month. Nearly half the recipients are children. The OFS service area includes 30 Illinois and Missouri counties surrounding the city of St. Louis.
Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 102 stores (including five Logli stores) and 99 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi and Iowa.