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Regional independent Save Mart Supermarkets’ perishable grocery donations from its 226 stores have surpassed 1 million pounds in the first quarter of this year.
The food, which includes bakery, dairy, deli, frozen products and produce items, is collected daily by local area food banks as part of the Fresh Food Rescue program launched in March 2012 by the Modesto, Calif.-based grocer and Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization.
“We are honored to work with our partner Feeding America on the Fresh Food Rescue program,” said Save Mart’s public affairs director Alicia Rockwell. “This vitally important initiative allows us to channel perishable food items that are no longer saleable, yet still safe for consumption, into the hands and the homes of many families in our communities who would otherwise go without. Our goal is to donate a total of four million pounds of perishable groceries by the end of the 2013.”
According to Rockwell, store personnel follow strict guidelines to ensure the integrity and safety of all donated food. Preparation of the products includes removal from the sales floor, freezing, separating and labeling for pick-up.
“We value our long-standing partnership with Save Mart and the passion we share in the fight against hunger,” said Eric Davis, director of retail product sourcing for Feeding America. “The one million pounds of food they donated between January and March through Fresh Food Rescue provided 882,000 nutritious meals to our neighbors in need, and that is truly appreciated.”
Save Mart operates 226 stores in Northern California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods and FoodMaxx banners.