Springfield, Massachusetts-based Big Y has donated more than $11.5 million in food, or a total of 5.7 million meals, to help those in need throughout the region. Its recent Sack Hunger program caps off year-round daily efforts to donate food to all five local food banks.
The five food banks within Big Y’s local marketing area represent more than 2,100 member agencies that benefit from almost daily food donations as well as Sack Hunger. They are The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, The Greater Boston Food Bank, Worcester County Food Bank, Foodshare of Greater Hartford and the Connecticut Food Bank.
In addition to Sack Hunger, Big Y donates healthy food to these food banks six days a week throughout the year. Two thirds of those 5.7 million meals include donations of meat and fresh produce, and bakery, non-perishable grocery items, frozen food and dairy products account for the rest. In fact, these almost daily donations have become routine and a natural part of Big Y’s operations. These food banks depend upon this steady flow of food to feed those in need.
Big Y’s 10th annual Sack Hunger/Care to Share program brought more than 20,000 bags of food to local recipients. Sack Hunger bags are large reusable grocery bags filled with staple non-perishable foods for local food banks.
Big Y customers purchase a Sack Hunger bag full of groceries for $10 and Big Y distributes that bag of groceries to a local food bank. In turn, the food banks distribute the filled sacks to area soup kitchens, food pantries, senior food programs, day care centers and more throughout their member agencies. In addition, customers had the option of purchasing a “virtual” bag in store or online where proceeds were used by many agencies to purchase turkeys or whatever was most needed.
Since its inception, 10 years ago, more than 175,000 bags have been donated through this program which typically runs through November and December of each year.
“We are proud to partner with our local food banks every day of the week. During the holiday season, our Sack Hunger program makes it easy for our customers to provide nutritious, non-perishable staple food to those less fortunate within our community,” said Charles L. D’Amour, president and CEO “We are grateful to our customers who help support our friends and neighbors in need. In fact, all of their donated sacks of food have already been distributed to area food banks.”