The Meijer Simply Give program raised more than $8.5 million for Midwest food pantries in 2018, setting a record.
Meijer is providing an additional one-time gift of more than $2 million to its Simply Give food pantry partners, according to executive chairman Hank Meijer.
“My dad once said, ‘I want to leave the world in a little better shape than when I entered it,'” Meijer said. “We believe he achieved that dream, but also that it lives on through the Simply Give program that feeds hungry families in the communities we serve – with help from our generous customers, team members and food pantry partners.”
The one-time $2 million gift will bring the Meijer Simply Give overall donations to nearly $48 million since its inception in 2008. The donation will be divided equally among the more than 400 food pantries participating in the 2018 Meijer Simply Give program, resulting in an additional $5,000 per food pantry.
The $8.5 million in donations is the equivalent of 4.5 million gallons of milk. Its most recent campaign, held during the holiday season, raised more than $2.8 million, which equals more than 1.6 million cartons of eggs.
“Recently, it has become clearer just how vital food pantries are to an increasing number of families across the Midwest, and why programs like Simply Give continue to make a difference in the communities we serve,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “Our company has a heritage of giving, and that philosophy guides us today.”
The family-owned Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer began its Simply Give program in 2008 to help local food pantries.
During each Meijer Simply Give campaign, customers are encouraged to purchase a $10 Simply Give donation card upon checkout. Once purchased, the donation is converted into a Meijer food-only gift card and donated directly to the local food pantry selected by the store for that campaign.
Meijer operates more than 240 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.