2011: A Year of Hunger Relief for Meijer

Retailer worked to address hunger in the Midwest through variety of philanthropic efforts
Mar 13, 2012 8:45 PM ET

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 13, 2012 /3BL Media /PRNewswire/ -- Meijer has been committed to helping fight hunger in the Midwest for several years, but that cause solidified as a corporate focus last year.

Meijer addressed hunger relief through a variety of philanthropic efforts, including the 2011 Holiday Simply Give program, another distribution of reconditioned trucks to food pantries, the expansion of the Meijer food rescue program, and many other contributions to nonprofit organizations throughout the supercenter chain retailer's five-state footprint.

"Meijer focused on this cause because we understand hunger in the Midwest and want to do what we can to help those in need," Meijer Co-Chairman Hank Meijer announced today. "We appreciate the support and commitment of our generous customers and team members, who stand ready to help us in this fight, and we anticipate continued generosity from the community this year."

Here are just a few examples of how Meijer addressed hunger relief in 2011:

  • Meijer donated $10,000 to Gleaners Community Food Bank and Forgotten Harvest through the retailer's 2011 online holiday contest, "Get Gifted," that also awarded one lucky winner from Macomb County, Mich., with $10,000 in Meijer gift cards. The donation equaled more than 34,000 meals to help feed the hungry in southeast Michigan. To view the food bank donation presentation video, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYQeJau3QNY.
  • The 2011 Holiday Simply Give program helped the campaign, which aims to replenish the shelves of local food pantries in each city and town where a Meijer store is located, grow bigger than it ever was before. Since the campaign debuted in November 2008 – with 10 programs running for about eight weeks – nearly $3 million, or 18 million meals, have been donated to 197 local food pantries.
  • The program encourages customers to purchase $10 Meijer Food Pantry Donation Cards, which are then converted into Meijer Gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store. Meijer seeds the Simply Give program with $100,000 in grocery gift cards that will be divided equally among all the participating food pantries.
  • There are three Simply Give programs slated for 2012; the first is going on now through May 19.
  • For the second consecutive year, Meijer donated reconditioned tractors to local food banks and community partners to aid their efforts in addressing hunger in their communities. The latest donation consisted of distributing 18 trucks, valued at more than $200,000, to seven food banks and two educational institutions in four states.
  • Meijer expanded its food rescue program in 2011, with the addition of seven food pantries in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio that pick up fresh food – meat, cheese and select deli and bakery items – from local Meijer stores. More than 686,000 pounds, or more than 527,700 meals, of food were donated in 2011 to local food pantries.
  • The initiative helps increase the total tonnage of food delivered to local food banks while utilizing products that would not have been available in the past. After ensuring food safety and quality measures, Meijer began its food rescue program in 2008 with 29 stores in southeast Michigan; the program has since grown to include more than 100 participating Meijer stores. That growth is slated to continue in 2012, said Janet Emerson, executive vice president of operations for Meijer.
  • "Meijer is proud to partner with these local pantries and food banks to help ensure that no one goes to bed hungry," Emerson said. "Not only are we helping with hunger relief, we are providing healthy offerings to a greater number of people who rely on food banks for their meals."
  • Meijer donated $10,000 in gift cards to the Vision of Restoration food pantry in Illinois, which were then given to 500 residents to help put food on their tables over the holiday.
  • Meijer donated nearly $10,000 in gift cards to the Chicagoland Italian American Charitable Organization in Chicago. The donation was used to buy food to create "Baskets of Love" for 500 Chicago-area families over Thanksgiving.
Meijer donates more than 6 percent of its net profits to charity annually.

About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 197 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the "one-stop shopping" concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

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