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Food Lion has committed to donate 500 million meals to families in need by the end of 2020 through its new "Food Lion Feeds" hunger relief program. To mark the launch of the initiative, the Salisbury, N.C.-based grocer aims to donate 1 million meals in five days between June 9 and June 13 as part of a "Week of Giving."
"When I was a store manager, I saw firsthand the tough choices our customers are sometimes forced to make to feed their families," noted Food Lion President Beth Newlands Campbell. "In difficult times, many people have to decide whether to pay rent, buy groceries or purchase gasoline to get to work, because they simply cannot do all three. At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries. That's why we’re so passionate about our renewed focus on ending hunger and working to make the lines shorter at local feeding agencies through Food Lion Feeds."
At a June 9 press event kicking off the initiative, Campbell observed that one in four North Carolina children was food insecure and said that Food Lion Feeds would "honor our heritage of giving back," a tradition that she affirmed was "part of our DNA."
The company is also enlisting customer participation in the year-round program by rolling out Food Lion Feeds reusable bags for sale in its stores. With the sale of each bag through June 30, Food Lion will donate five meals to local food banks, in partnership with Chicago-based Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.
'Summers Without Hunger' Food Boxes
The Week of Giving began with the donation of 2,500 “Summers Without Hunger” food boxes each packed with 15 products for breakfast, lunch and dinner by Food Lion associates at the company’s Salisbury headquarters. The food boxes will provide more than 30,000 meals to families in need in the greater Charlotte, N.C., and Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point, N.C., areas this summer.
During the rest of the week, local Food Lion associates, joined by Campbell, SVP of Retail Operations Greg Finchum and other company officials, will distribute food and support local feeding agencies in the greater Norfolk, Va., area; visit an elementary school in Baltimore with many food-insecure students; help give out meals to senior citizens in the greater Myrtle Beach, S.C., community; and donate produce to families without consistent access to such items in the greater Raleigh, N.C., market.
Food Lion associates will also receive Food Lion Feeds wristbands to provide a constant reminder of the company's hunger relief goals.
A company of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group, Food Lion operates more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates.