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During Hunger Action Month in September, Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets donated $550,998 at checkout through the Ahold USA banners' in-store Bag Hunger campaign, which supports area food banks. Running from Aug. 31 through Sept. 13, the campaign was the second in-store hunger relief effort conducted by Giant/Martin's this year.
"Hunger has become a reality for far too many, and our regional food banks continue to report unprecedented demand and increasing pressure to secure funding and donations year-round," noted Giant/Martin's President Tom Lenkevich.
Among the major recipients of the donation were Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, in Virginia ($16,900); Central Pennsylvania Food Bank ($43,382); FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank ($15,489); Greater Berks County Food Bank ($10,266); Maryland Food Bank, Western Branch ($10,566); Philabundance ($52,866); Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley ($17,609); and Water Street Rescue Mission, in Lancaster, Pa. ($13,127).
Throughout September, Giant/Martin's teamed with CPG giant Unilever to help food-insecure folks by collaborating with the Olivet Boys and Girls Clubs and the Greater Berks Food Bank on a Healthy Kids Summit in Reading, Pa. At the event, Giant Food Stores Nutritionist Sarah Glunz took part in a panel whose child members were asked questions about healthy eating. Later, a group exercise session took place and a wholesome dinner prepared by a Knorr chef was served. Giant and Unilever also held a Stuff-a-Truck event at the grocery chain's Havertown, Pa., store.
"Our partnership with Giant/Martin's has had a meaningful impact on the local community, and we continue to collaborate with Giant/Martin's and Feeding America in support of hunger relief initiatives," said Rob Gelbach, team lead at Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever. "Food insecurity is growing among American families, so it is important to Unilever that we support the people struggling with hunger in our own communities. By partnering with organizations like Feeding America and its member food banks, we are able to improve the health and well-being of local families."
Commitment to Hunger Relief
Further, three Martin's stores participated in a Stuff-a-Truck event to aid the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, collecting 14,900 pounds of food and $1,655 for local anti-hunger efforts. The grocer also supported the Junior Advisory Council at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, where students serving on the council received a $500 scholarship.
In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for about 40 percent of Giant/Martin's community giving, with around 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $10 million in product and customer, vendor and corporate donations.
For its prodigious achievements in the area of corporate responsibility, Ahold USA was chosen as Progressive Grocer’s Retailer of the Year.
Based in Carlisle, Pa., Giant/Martin's operates almost 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.