BJ’s Wholesale Club has made a $50,000 donation to Forgotten Harvest, a Feeding America member food bank, through its charitable foundation. The donation is part of the retailer’s initiative to help end hunger in Michigan.
“BJ’s is dedicated to nourishing our communities and helping families thrive by improving access to basic essentials including fresh, nutritious food,” said Kirk Saville, executive director, BJ’s Charitable Foundation. “We’re thrilled to donate $50,000 to Forgotten Harvest to support its school pantry program. This grant will help increase access and feed more families in food insecure communities.”
BJ’s grant to Forgotten Harvest is part of its recent $1 million donation to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. The donation will support programs that expand direct access to food, including the school pantry, mobile market and backpack programs. With these programs, families facing food insecurity will be able to more easily access fresh, nutritious food to help put meals on the table.
“Food insecurity for many in metro Detroit is far above the national average: one in four children face food insecurity and 29 percent of working households do not earn enough to cover basic survival needs,” said Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “With BJ’s generous support, we will be able to increase the amount of fresh, healthy food that is delivered to communities in need.”
Forgotten Harvest’s “Healthy Foods—Healthy Kids” initiative works to provide access to nutritious food for nearly 200,000 children in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The School Pantry Program, in particular, works to distribute fresh food year-round to food insecure families with young children through children’s facilities, shelters, schools and agencies with Head Start and other early childhood programs.
BJ’s grant marks the third yearly $1 million donation to the Feeding America network from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation. Since 2011, BJ’s has provided ongoing support to the Feeding America network through the BJ’s Charitable Foundation and BJ’s Feeding Communities program, helping local food banks successfully expand their programs to reach wider audiences.
BJ’s Feeding Communities program is a food rescue partnership, where the company donates all unsold perishable food to Feeding America member food banks in its footprint, helping to get wholesome food onto the plates of more families. To date, BJ’s has donated more than 100 million pounds of food including meat, produce, dairy and bakery items—which equals more than 84 million meals—to Feeding America member food banks. Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, a meal is equal to 1.2 pounds of food and grocery product.