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Throughout the month of May, Philadelphia-based The Fresh Grocer supermarkets teamed up with Bebashi -- is full-service HIV/AIDS case management agency -- to host a Facebook-powered food drive.
Supporters were urged to visit Bebashi’s Facebook page and become “fans” of the organization. For every fan of the cause, The Fresh Grocer pledged a donation of one non-perishable food item to Bebashi’s Emergency Food Cupboard. The campaign’s recent conclusion proved more than successful, surpassing the original goal by more than 300 percent.
Bebashi’s emergency food cupboard was put in place to provide nutritional meals to low-income urban families who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. However, the organization has been serving far more than their typical 60-75 monthly visitors, making it increasingly difficult to keep the Food Cupboard fully stocked.
“Our monthly visits to the cupboard have grown to 240-250 people per month” said Deena Weems Thornton, Bebashi’s director of development. “It is a constant struggle to keep the shelves stocked, so we were ecstatic that The Fresh Grocer was willing to help us in this unique initiative. We are extremely grateful to The Fresh Grocer and everyone who joined or cause.”
The Fresh Grocer, a local supermarket chain specializing in offering fresh and affordable foods in urban areas, saw the opportunity as a great way to support both Bebashi and the Philadelphia community.
“At The Fresh Grocer we are committed to our communities, to improving food access, and to promoting health and wellness,” said Patrick J. Burns, president/CEO of the seven-store regional independent. “Bebashi shares our mission, and we were honored to partner with them to raise awareness for their organization and to donate items to stock their Emergency Food Cupboard so more Philadelphians can receive the support they need to live happier and healthier lives.”
Originally the Bebashi-Fresh Grocer team sought out 300 Facebook Food Drive supporters as a realistic goal for the month long, social network-driven fundraiser. Upon Project 2011’s conclusion, a total of 964 supporters became fans of the cause. Overall the fundraiser generated about $600 in monetary contributions and close to 1000 donations in non-perishable food items.