As the effects of COVID-19 continue to challenge families across the Midwest, Meijer is donating $1 million in turkeys to 10 food banks within its footprint to help feed those in need.
Meijer kicked of its donation series recently with the delivery of 6,000 frozen turkeys to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s weekly food distribution event where they were immediately loaded into the vehicles of the food bank’s clients.
“While progress is being made against the pandemic, we understand the impact it’s made remains a challenge for many people,” said Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes. “Meijer cares about our communities, and we wanted to do our part to help those in need. We appreciate the partnership with the Cleveland Browns to help ensure the Greater Cleveland Food Bank has what it needs to serve the community.”
In total, the retailer is donating 50,000 frozen Meijer and Honeysuckle turkeys to several of its food bank partners that include:
- Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana in Fort Wayne;
- Dare to Care in Louisville;
- Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin in Milwaukee;
- Food Bank of Northern Indiana in South Bend;
- Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park, Michigan;
- Gleaners Detroit;
- Gleaners Indianapolis;
- Greater Cleveland Food Bank;
- Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee; and
- Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva.
“It takes many caring people to fight hunger in our communities, and we are so grateful to Meijer for including the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, as well as many other food banks, in their efforts to provide much needed protein to hungry families,” said Patty Eilmann, VP of food resources. “Many people will be able to enjoy a nutritious meal because of the generosity of Meijer. On behalf of the Food Bank and the many clients we serve, thank you.”
In addition to the turkey donation, Guard Joel Bitonio from the Cleveland Browns and Chomps, the mascot, attended the event to help volunteers distribute food and generate excitement for those in attendance. All COVID-19 guidelines were followed.
“We appreciate the opportunity to be part of Meijer’s launch event for such a generous community initiative that will impact many lives and food banks across the Midwest, including the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Northeast Ohio families in need,” said Browns VP of Community Relations Jenner Tekancic. “Meijer and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank have been dedicated to helping families in need throughout the pandemic, and we are proud to partner with them for this important food-relief effort and other meaningful community programs throughout the year. We are grateful for everyone who continues to give back, volunteer and step up to help out today and always.”
This series of turkey donations is in addition to the turkeys Meijer donated during the holiday season, and the more than $7.6 million it donated in 2020 to help feed hungry families across the Midwest through its Simply Give program.
“The events of this year have taught us all the importance of community members supporting each other,” said Cathy Cooper, senior director of community partnerships and giving at Meijer. “We appreciate the need our food bank partners are facing every day and wanted to do our part to help them feed the hungry in their communities.”
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based retailer that operates 256 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
The grocer also is administering COVID-19 vaccinations. See story, here.