Customers at Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets donated a record-breaking $607,035 at the checkout to support local hunger relief efforts through the grocers’ in-store Bag Hunger campaign, which ran Feb. 23-March 8. The previous record of $587,000 was raised last year. This is the first of two Bag Hunger campaigns Giant/Martin’s conducts annually; the second will coincide with September’s Hunger Action Month.
“Thank you to our generous customers and associates who donated towards local hunger relief efforts through our Bag Hunger campaign,” said Erik Keptner, SVP of sales, merchandising and marketing. “This is the largest donation we have collected through this campaign to date and will provide thousands of meals to those most in need throughout all of the communities we serve.”
Major recipient food banks include the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Philabundance, Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley, FeedMore-Central Virginia Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Maryland, Greater Berks County Food Bank, Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, Food Resources of Washington County, Md., and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Virginia.
In 2013, hunger relief efforts and donations to regional food banks accounted for approximately 40 percent of Giant/Martin’s community giving with approximately 100 regional food banks and local pantries receiving $10 million in product, customer, vendor and corporate donations. This 2013 donation also included 1.7 million pounds of food from Giant/Martin’s “Meat the Needs” frozen meat program; the company freezes meat and provides bakery items that would otherwise go unsold in its stores and donates the products to regional food bank partners to assist struggling families.