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Online grocer Peapod is doing its part during Feeding America's National Hunger Month in September by holding its inaugural Virtual Food Drive, in the Northeast. For every item a customer purchases from a list of almost 20 products, Peapod will donate that same item to local food banks in the communities it serves, up to a $5,000 value. Products include a range of nonperishable private label items such as Nature's Promise Naturals Cranberry Juice, Nature's Promise Naturals Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Nature's Promise Organics Green Beans.
Among the Northeastern food banks that will benefit from the drive are Greater Boston Food Bank, Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Connecticut Food Bank, Island Harvest (Long Island, N.Y.), The Food Bank of NYC and Food Bank for Westchester.
Additionally, Peapod is starting the new school year with the latest iteration of its “Kids Give Back” program. Launched in 2010, the grass-roots educational initiative teaches students about nutrition and math while aiding local food banks.
The e-grocer teams up with regional fourth- and fifth-grade classes, donating up to $500 in Peapod gift cards to be used to buy food for the students' area food banks. Working with teachers to complement schools’ curricula, Peapod imparts nutrition and math tips to help kids make the most nutritious and financially sound purchase decisions.
"Participating in the Peapod Kids Give Back program was a wonderful experience for my classroom," noted Amy Codega, a teacher at Fort Barton Elementary School in Tiverton, R.I. "The activities really opened our students’ eyes to issues of hunger right here in our own community, while putting into practical use the math and nutrition lessons they were learning."
To date, Peapod has collaborated with classrooms in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, with plans to expand to states like New Jersey and Illinois in the program’s second year.
An Ahold USA company, Skokie, Ill.-based Peapod has made more than 20 million grocery deliveries since 1989.