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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC’s 23rd annual “Food for Friends” program raised $1.8 million by the end of 2012 for local hunger relief organizations throughout the Northeast. All of the funds raised will go directly to community food pantries and regional food banks.
The chain-wide effort kicked off this past summer with the “Healthy Ideas Food for Friends” program, and continued in November with several different elements:
- Customers could contribute through in-store donations of $1, $3 or $5 at checkout.
- Charity Boxes with Stop & Shop Own Brands items were sold chain-wide; boxes went directly to a local food pantry adopted by a store, with any additional proceeds going back into the program. This year, Stop & Shop customers donated more than 75,000 boxes.
- Kraft Foods and Unilever contributed several hundred thousand coupon booklets worth $10 each for customers who donated.
- Stop & Shop contributed a company match of $500 per store.
“As a supermarket, fighting food insecurity is one of our core charitable focuses and the Food for Friends program is an easy way to raise the issue more broadly with our customers and really work as partners to give back,” said Joe Kelley, president of Stop & Shop’s New England division.
Of the funds raised in 2012, 60 percent went to the local hunger relief agency or food pantry each store adopts and 40 percent is donated to 14 regional food banks.
The stores that raised the most donations were locations in Narragansett, R.I. ($12,076), Simsbury, Conn. ($11,942) and Southington, Conn. ($11,098).
As well as Food for Friends, Stop & Shop aided hunger relief organizations by donating more than 20,000 turkeys via its “Turkey Express” program this past fall, and through the Stop & Shop/Giant Family Foundation.
“Stop & Shop has a long tradition of supporting the communities in which we serve and fighting hunger in those communities is one of our top priorities,” said Don Sussman, president of Stop & Shop’s New York metro division. “Hurricane Sandy hit the New York metro area when we launched our Food for Friends program, and more than ever before, our customers and associates continued to help make a difference to families struggling to put food on their table during such a devastating time.”
A division of Ahold USA, Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop employs about 62,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey.