To end hunger for one in eight neighbors and one in six food-insecure children, Food Lion has new plans for its hunger-relief initiative, Food Lion Feeds. Food Lion Feeds will expand its long-term partnership with Feeding America in addition to creating new partnerships to address hunger, and is committing to donate 1 billion more meals to its neighbors in need by the end of 2025. Food Lion Feeds reached its previous goal of donating 500 million meals in May, nearly 18 months early.
“At Food Lion, we believe that no one should have to choose between dinner and rent or gasoline and buying groceries, and we know far too many of our neighbors are faced with those difficult decisions,” says Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. “Children in our classrooms, service members who give so much to serve our nation and seniors on fixed incomes in our towns and cities are struggling with hunger. Hunger knows no bounds. So, Food Lion is committed to nourishing our neighbors and setting them up for success in life and we couldn’t be more proud to take on this incredibly important mission in an even bigger, more impactful way.”
Partnerships to expand reach and increase impact
To achieve its goal, Food Lion Feeds announced new partnerships with No Kid Hungry, a campaign to end child hunger in the U.S., and Operation Homefront, to fight food insecurity among our nation’s service members and their families. Additionally, Food Lion Feeds will continue to grow its longstanding partnership with Feeding America, and the 30 Feeding America member food banks across Food Lion’s 10-state service territory, through a combination of product, financial and equipment donations; disaster relief and recovery efforts; volunteer events; in-store retail campaigns; Food Lion Feeds’ retail food rescue program to donate food before it perishes; and other sources. Food Lion Feeds is also introducing new opportunities to involve its customers in the fight against hunger, through the launch of a new resource to encourage volunteerism in the towns and cities that the Salisbury, North Carolina-based retailer serves.
“For years, Food Lion has been a strong partner to the Feeding America network. We are grateful for its commitment to helping people who face hunger,” says Andy Wilson, chief development officer at Feeding America. “The Food Lion Feeds donation will help food banks provide more nourishing meals to our neighbors in need.”
To coincide with Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month in September, Food Lion Feeds is launching the “#NoEmptyPlate” social media challenge, and will donate one meal, up to a million meals, for every post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram featuring an empty plate using #FoodLionFeeds and #NoEmptyPlate. One dollar helps provide at least 10 meals, and all meals donated through the challenge will benefit Feeding America and their member food banks in Food Lion’s service area.
Similarly, the new partnership with No Kid Hungry will help reduce the gap between the number of school children who are eligible to receive free school breakfast and those children who receive the meal. When kids start their days with a healthy breakfast, they do better on tests, have fewer discipline problems, have fewer health problems, and are more likely to graduate from high school. Food Lion Feeds’ donation to No Kid Hungry will provide up to five million meals to kids in need.
“One in six kids in America will face hunger this year,” says Jill Davis, SVP of corporate partnerships for Share Our Strength, the organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign. “No Kid Hungry is committed to feeding those children so that they can reach their full potential. And through partnerships with companies like Food Lion, we are one step closer to achieving no kid hungry.”
To fight food insecurity among military and veteran families, Food Lion Feeds is partnering with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that serves America’s military families by providing them critical financial assistance, including meals, grocery assistance, transitional and permanent housing and recurring family support programs throughout the year. Its Holiday Meals for Military program helps address food insecurity among military and veteran families. The partnership with Food Lion Feeds will enable the organization to broaden its reach and provide critical resources for our service members and their families.
“We are thrilled Food Lion has chosen Operation Homefront as their Food Lion Feeds partner,” says Margi Kirst, chief development officer of Operation Homefront. “Their support drives our ability to build strong, stable and secure military families so they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. We thank Food Lion for their commitment to serving America’s military families.”
“These partnerships will enable us to have an even deeper impact in our communities while addressing some of the root causes of food insecurity,” says Ham. “We want to shorten the lines at our feeding agency partners, while at the same time, meeting the needs of those in need of emergency food assistance, just as we have always done. Through these partnerships, and with the support of our customers and associates, we are committed to fighting hunger in the towns and cities we serve.”
Food Lion’s customers will also be able to more easily connect with hunger-relief organizations in their hometowns through Food Lion Feeds’ new relationship with FoodFinder, a resource hosted on foodlion.com. With the simple insertion of a zip code, customers will have easy access to a list of Feeding America-affiliated feeding agencies in their local community. They can connect with those agencies to volunteer, whether they have one day, one week or one month a year or more to give. Volunteerism helps local feeding agencies stretch their resources and serve more of our neighbors in need.