The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of neighborhood warehouse grocer Smart & Final Stores Inc., has hit a fundraising milestone, raising $2 million for more than 1,850 causes this year with the help of Smart & Final customers and store associates. This includes $96,000 recently fundraised and provided to the California communities suffering from the devastating effects of wildfires.
Smart & Final store associates themselves raised $120,000 of that milestone, collected through the company’s annual pledge drive, in which employees pledge to give a percentage of each paycheck to charity.
As a result, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation, which is committed to improving the quality of life and nourishing the communities in which Smart & Final stores serve, was able to provide both product and monetary donations to nonprofit organizations in the foundation’s five key areas of focus. Those areas are:
- Disaster relief: The Charitable Foundation donated more than $106,000 to disaster relief efforts, with the help of customer and store associate contributions. In response to the recent Butte and Woolsey fires, Smart & Final and the foundation have raised $96,000 through an in-store giving campaign and is continuing to donate food and supplies to first responders, evacuation centers, churches and animal shelters.
- Health and wellness: Smart & Final store associates took part in 14 American Heart Association’s Heart Walks, contributing and raising $56,500 in product and donations. Additionally, to support its partner City of Hope, Smart & Final stores raised and gifted a total of $313,000 through the Kids 4 Hope in-store giving campaign in October.
- Youth development: Store associates and the Charitable Foundation contributed $10,000 worth of gift cards and raised another $400,000 for Olive Crest, an organization committed to transforming the lives of at-risk children and their families.
- Team sports: In addition to the $100,000 the Charitable Foundation contributed to team sports this year, Smart & Final store associates also took it upon themselves to donate their time to numerous organizations, including Special Olympics, Little Leagues and Boys & Girls Clubs.
- Hunger relief: The Charitable Foundation is continuing its sponsorship of PastaThon, an annual event raising monetary donations and pasta for Caterina’s Club, which provides warm meals for youth homeless and low-income families throughout Southern California. Through Dec. 7, shoppers at participating Smart & Final or Smart & Final Extra! stores can make a $10 donation at the register, and Smart & Final will in turn provide pasta, pasta sauce, forks, bowls and napkins to Caterina’s Club. Each $10 donation will provide 14 meals to kids in need.
“From AYSOs, Little Leagues and school PTAs to charity walks and disaster relief, helping our local communities is at the heart of Smart & Final’s culture,” said Barbara Van Dine, VP, Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. “The dedication of our associates and customers to give so much of their time and financial assistance makes me proud to be part of this company, and I am honored to assist through the great work of the Charitable Foundation.”